The crew on board the Polarcus Adira in the Mediterranean Sea, Thursday, May 30, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Lebanon will miss a golden opportunity to become a major gas producer, as Cyprus, Turkey and Israel prepare plans to drill for natural gas and export it to Europe and Egypt in 2020 or 2022 at the latest.The other issue Lebanon needs to sort out immediately is the row between Lebanon and Israel over a disputed maritime zone close the border of the countries, according to experts.A Cypriot official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Daily Star that his government tried to mediate between Lebanon and Israel to solve this pending issue. Nikos Christodoulides, a spokesman of the Cypriot government and veteran politician, said that his country played a pivotal role in narrowing differences between some neighboring countries, citing the example of Palestine and Israel.He added that Lebanon and Cyprus have almost finalized free economic zone agreements, stressing that there is no maritime border dispute between the two countries. In November 2013, Cyprus and Lebanon agreed to start negotiations on a unitization agreement which would regulate who gets what in the event that hydrocarbons are found in the area between the two countries' exclusive economic zones (EEZ).
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