Last Update: 16:23
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warned it was unacceptable that some energy companies were taking part in what he called irresponsible measures by Greek Cypriots.
“It is impossible to appreciate that some energy companies are acting with, and becoming part of some irresponsible measures taken by Greek Cypriots. I want to remind them that they could lose a friend like Turkey,” Erdogan told a petroleum conference in Istanbul.
Erdogan did not name the companies. Last month, Cyprus issued a maritime advisory for a natural gas drill from July to October in a step opposed by Turkey, which challenges the divided island’s jurisdiction to search for hydrocarbons.
According to Reuters, speaking at the same conference, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirm demanded that energy sources around the island belonged to both sides.
“The Greek Cypriot leadership must seek a constructive approach rather than setting an obstacle for peace. We advise that they refrain from unilateral measures in the east Mediterranean,” he said.
“We want to remind once again that the hydrocarbon resources around Cypus belongs to both sides.”
Cyprus has contractual obligations with France’s Total which won an offshore exploration license from the Republic and was scheduled to commence drilling this year.
A drilling ship contracted by Total to drill, the West Capella, is sailing to Cyprus ahead of exploratory drill.
Talks to reunify the divided island collapsed in anger and recrimination in the early hours of Friday, marking the end of a process seen as the most promising in generations to heal decades of conflict.