19:57 GMT28 February 2020
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    The Turkish Foreign Ministry has expressed its disapproval of the Greek Cypriot authorities actions linked to the exploratory offshore drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) — Ankara considers unacceptable the exploratory offshore drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus, held at the request of the Greek Cypriot authorities without consent of the Turkish community, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Friday in a statement obtained by Sputnik.

    "A drill ship has recently arrived in the region, and it is preparing to start work in the framework of the licenses issued by the Greek Cypriot administration in its so-called exclusive economic zone. It is unacceptable that this administration still acts as the sole owner of the island and continues its unilateral activities linked to hydrocarbons, in the absence of a just and lasting comprehensive settlement on Cyprus," the statement read.

    The large natural gas deposit off southern coast of Cyprus has been the source of contention, with Turkey strongly opposing to the exploration efforts approved by Nicosia.

    The island of Cyprus is split between two communities, Greek and Turkish Cypriots. In 1974, the Turkish forces occupied the northern part of the island and then proclaimed the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

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    Tags:
    Oil, Turkey, Cyprus
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