China looks to operating Greek Cypriot ports

China looks to operating Greek Cypriot ports

NICOSIA – The Associated Press
China looks to operating Greek Cypriot ports

AFP photo

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said his country is interested in operating Greek Cypriot ports and to help turn the small east Mediterranean island nation into a regional shipping hub.

Yi also said after talks on Dec. 21 with his Greek Cypriot counterpart, Ioannis Kasoulides, that China is looking to develop industrial zones around the ports.

Greek Cyprus issued tenders earlier this year for a new operator to manage its largest port in the town of Limassol as a container hub, a cruise liner port of call or to offer sea services.

Kasoulides said he conveyed his government’s “great wish” that Chinese companies succeed in the tender.

Kasoulides pointed to the “successful participation” of China’s Cosco in Greece’s main port of Piraeus, where it has a concession to operate two of three container terminals.

Meanwhile, Yi has pledged support for talks aimed at reunifying the divided island, saying his country welcomes progress made in negotiations so far.

Yi said that China would continue to play a constructive role in supporting talks.

Wang’s visit follows recent trips to Cyprus by his counterparts from the U.S., Russia and Britain as peace talks gather pace.

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey partly invaded the island after a coup aiming at union with Greece took place.