Egypt says offshore gas discoveries bolster ties with Cyprus

A pump jack operates in the Permian basin oil and natural gas production area near Odessa, Texas, U.S., February 10, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 31 July 2019
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Egypt says offshore gas discoveries bolster ties with Cyprus

  • Minister Sameh Shoukry said Egypt looks forward to working with Cyprus in fully utilizing energy reserves
  • Shoukry said a partnership between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece serves as an “important catalyst” for region

NICOSIA: Egypt’s foreign minister says hydrocarbon finds in the eastern Mediterranean have bolstered an already “strong partnership” with neighboring Cyprus.
Minister Sameh Shoukry said after talks Wednesday with Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides that Egypt looks forward to working with Cyprus in fully utilizing energy reserves.
Egypt’s top diplomat said he’s hopeful the establishment of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum will help open new avenues of cooperation and policy coordination between the two countries.
Shoukry said a trilateral partnership between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece serves as an “important catalyst” for regional prosperity and stability. He said Egypt will host the seventh summit of the three nations’ leaders later this year.
Christodoulides said European Union member Cyprus would continue to advocate for stronger EU-Egypt ties in order to more effectively address regional challenges.


Lebanon’s Jammal Trust Bank forced to close by US sanctions

Updated 19 September 2019

Lebanon’s Jammal Trust Bank forced to close by US sanctions

  • Jammal Trust Bank is accused of helping to fund the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon
  • The bank has 25 branches in Lebanon and representative offices in Nigeria, the Ivory Coast and Britain

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Jammal Trust Bank has been forced to wind itself down after being hit last month by US sanctions for allegedly helping to fund the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, the bank said on Thursday.
The central bank said the value of the bank’s assets, and its share of the national deposit guarantee body, were “in principle enough to pay all deposits and commitments.”
Jammal Trust Bank denied the US allegations in August after the bank and its subsidiaries were hit with sanctions, accused of helping to fund the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon.
“Despite its sound financial situation ... and its full compliance with banking regulations, the (bank) was forced to take the decision to liquidate itself in full coordination with the central bank,” Jammal Trust said in a statement.
The bank has 25 branches in Lebanon and representative offices in Nigeria, the Ivory Coast and Britain, its website says.
It is a relatively small lender, with net assets of 1,600 billion Lebanese pounds ($1 billion) at the end of 2017, according to the annual report on the latest year for which data is available.
Washington has sought to choke off Hezbollah’s funding worldwide, with sanctions among a slew of steps against Tehran since US President Donald Trump withdrew last year from a 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran.