FILE - The Turkish national flag hangs in the foreground as drilling vessel Fatih is seen off the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, Turkey
FILE - The Turkish national flag hangs in the foreground as drilling vessel Fatih is seen off the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, Turkey

The Trump administration is urging Turkey to stop oil-and-gas drilling off the coast of the divided island of Cyprus.

"This provocative step raises tensions in the region," the State Department said late Tuesday. "We continue to believe the island's oil-and-gas reserves, like all of its resources, should be equitably shared between both communities in the context of an overall settlement."

There has been no comment so far from Turkey which sent a drilling ship to the Mediterranean off Cyprus Monday, sparking a protest by the Greek Cypriots.

Cyprus has been split between a Turkish Cypriot north and Greek Cypriot south since 1974 when Turkey sent troops to the island in response to a Greek military coup.

The Greek south has international recognition while only Turkey recognizes the government in the north.

Negotiations to reunify the island have been hung up over several issues, including sharing the energy resources and the presence of Turkish forces.