Turkey will continue drilling off Cyprus, says Turkish FM

Turkey will continue with drilling for gas off the Cyprus coast in the Eastern Mediterranean in order to ensure the “fair sharing of resources,” pro-government CNN Türk quoted Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu as saying on Tuesday.

Çavuşoğlu’s statement arrives amid an ongoing standoff over hydrocarbons rights in the eastern Mediterranean.

“Turkey will not allow unilateral activities. We need to protect the rights of Turkish Cypriots with actual steps,” Cavusoglu told a university conference on law and politics in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“We will continue drilling activities around the island. We're not trying to fight with anyone. Our aim is a fair sharing of resources,” the Turkish foreign minister added, noting that Ankara was committed to safeguarding the rights of Turkish Cypriots.

Turkey, the only country to recognize North Cyprus on the divided island, has promised to stop what it sees as unilateral moves by the Greek side of the disputed island to exploit the potentially rich waters.

Cavusoglu also said it makes no sense for Turkey to restart Cyprus talks.

Greek Cypriots have said a peace deal would allow both communities to benefit from offshore resources. But peace talks collapsed last year and appear unlikely to resume soon as tensions between Greece and Turkey are rising in the Mediterranean and Aegean.


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