Cyprus parliament approves fund for future gas proceeds

NICOSIA, Cyprus — A day after ExxonMobil announced a significant natural gas deposit discovery off Cyprus, the ethnically split country's parliament approved the establishment of an investment fund for any future hydrocarbon proceeds.

Averof Neophytou, leader of the conservative Democratic Rally party told the Associated Press Friday that "100 percent" of the fund's proceeds will be reserved for "future generations," meaning they won't be used for near-term budgetary reasons.

Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades hailed the fund's approval on his official Twitter account. He said fact that the fund rules out disbursements also safeguards the rights of breakaway Turkish Cypriots to any hydrocarbon wealth.

Turkish Cypriots living in the country's breakaway northern third oppose the internationally recognized government's offshore hydrocarbons search, saying it disregards their rights to Cyprus' natural resources.

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