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Turkey Renews Threat Against Cyprus Offshore Gas Exploration


Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, left, and Tufan Erhurman, the prime minister of the self-declared Turkish Cypriot state in the north of the divided island, review a military honour guard during a ceremony at the Cankaya Palace in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, March 7, 2018.

Turkey's prime minister has renewed a threat against efforts to search for offshore gas around Cyprus.

Turkey opposes what it says are "unilateral" efforts to search for gas, saying they infringe the rights of Turkish Cypriots to the ethnically split island's resources.

Binali Yildirim said Wednesday during a joint news conference with Tufan Erhurman, the prime minister of the self-declared Turkish Cypriot state, that "provocative activities will be met with the appropriate response."

Yildirim's comments were in response to reports that an ExxonMobil vessel was heading toward the Mediterranean, coinciding with exercises in the area involving the U.S. Navy.

Last month, Turkish warships prevented a rig from reaching an area southeast of Cyprus where Italian company Eni was scheduled to drill for gas.

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