ANKARA, November 22 (Sputnik) – Turkey urges to reach peace over Cyprus' natural resources issue without delay, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said.
"Everyone will gain in Cyprus if both sides [Greek side and Turkish side] accept that natural sources around the island belong to all sides. Peace should be achieved without delay," Davutoglu was quoted as saying by Hurriyet Daily News on Saturday at the closing session of the sixth Atlantic Council Energy and Economic Summit in Istanbul.
He added that energy is of great value to Turkey and that it should be used to improve the well-being of humanity rather than as a means to spark a conflict.
Turkey-Cyprus relations have experienced tensions in recent months in light of the oil and gas exploration activity off Cyprus.
In October, Ankara announced it would begin seismic surveys off Cyprus' coast in the area where Italy's ENI and Korea's Kogas energy companies are already conducting drilling. Turkey sent a research vessel accompanied by a warship into the Cyprus exclusive economic zone, with Cyprus accusing Turkey of violating the sovereign rights of the country over its continental shelf.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded the north in response to a military coup on the island backed by Greece. After an almost two-year gap, UN-led talks on the reunification of the island as a federal state resumed in February 2014 but stalled again in October over the exploration dispute.