Turkey will drill for gasoline till Greek Cypriots settle for plan – minister

FILE PHOTO: Overseas Minister of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Might 29, 2019. REUTERS/Waleed Ali/File Picture

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey will proceed drilling for gasoline in waters off Cyprus if the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot authorities doesn’t settle for a cooperation proposal put ahead by Turkish Cypriots, Ankara’s overseas minister mentioned on Sunday.

Mevlut Cavusoglu mentioned a proposal by Turkish Cypriot chief Mustafa Akinci that each events on the divided island cooperate in exploration and exploitation of gasoline might contribute to stability and peace within the japanese Mediterranean.

Tensions within the area have risen after Turkey advised power corporations to not work with the Greek Cypriot authorities, and despatched two ships to drill off the island. Cyprus issued arrest warrants for the crew of one of many ships, and the European Union is discussing curbing contacts and funds for Turkey in response.

The dispute stems from overlapping claims to regional waters by Turkey and Cyprus, linked to the 45-year-old cut up of the island and Ankara’s rejection of agreements Cyprus has reached with different Mediterranean states on maritime financial zones.

In an article for the Cyprus Publish, Cavusoglu mentioned that till Greek Cypriots undertake the proposals set out by Akinci on Saturday to work with Turkish Cypriots, Turkey would proceed operations in areas the place Turkish Cypriot authorities have licensed it to work “with determination and without change”.

Turkey’s Fatih ship began drilling off western Cyprus in Might. A second drilling ship, Yavuz, arrived off the northeastern coast final week.

Cyprus was divided in 1974 after a Turkish invasion triggered by a quick, Greek-inspired coup. A number of peacemaking efforts have failed and the invention of offshore assets within the japanese Mediterranean has difficult the negotiations.

Turkey, which has no diplomatic relations with Cyprus, is the one nation which recognises the breakaway state within the north of the island. Cyprus says Turkey’s drilling operations are opposite to worldwide regulation and that choices on hydrocarbons are its sovereign proper.

Ankara says that Greek Cypriot authorities can not make agreements about maritime financial zones or power exploration on behalf of the entire island. It additionally says that the seas round Cyprus lie by itself continental shelf.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Irem Koca; Writing by Dominic Evans; Enhancing by Mark Potter

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