Greek PM: Turkey must respect Cyprus' right to search for offshore oil and gas

Associated Press
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, speaks to the media as Cyprus' president Nicos Anastasiades listens during a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in the capital Nicosia, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. Tsipras is visiting Cyprus, his first trip abroad as prime minister since his election last month. It's customary for all newly-elected Greek prime ministers to conduct their first trip abroad to Cyprus because of the two countries' deep historic ties. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
Copyright 2015, The Associated Press

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Greece's prime minister says Turkey must respect Cyprus' right to search for gas off its shores instead of issuing threats, so that suspended talks to reunify the ethnically divided island can resume.

Alexis Tsipras said Monday that Turkey's dispatching of a research vessel to search for gas in waters where the Cypriot government has licensed other companies to drill is a "gross violation of international law" that undermines a return to peace talks.

Cypriot President broke off talks in October after Turkey said it would send the vessel.

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup aiming for union with Greece. Turkey doesn't recognize Cyprus as a state and says it won't allow a unilateral Greek Cypriot gas search that flouts Turkish Cypriot rights.

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