2014-10-30 17:33:00

Mediterranean nations condemn Turkish gas exploration

(Vatican Radio) The governments of Egypt, Greece and Cyprus have urged Turkey to stop charting gas deposits in areas of the east Mediterranean claimed by Cyprus, saying the work was illegal.

Listen to Nathan Morley's report: 

Cyprus, which is a member of the European Union, is anxious to develop the gas reserves in its exclusive economic zone, which is an offshore region laying to the south of the island.

Turkey does not recognize Cyprus, which is ethnically split between its Greek and Turkish populations. The government of Nicosia has accused Turkey of dispatching a research vessel to collect seismic data in the disputed area.

The foreign ministers of Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus met in Nicosia on Wednesday to prepare for a summit between the three next month, and they also condemned Turkey.

The gas row has already triggered the suspension of peace talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriots on this island which was partitioned in 1974 after a Turkish invasion.

The island has become keen to develop offshore gas reserves as a potential source of revenue, since it was compelled to seek a bailout last year.

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