Cyprus’ President Dimitris Christofias says Saturday exploratory drilling for offshore oil and gas deposits will continue despite Turkey’s strong opposition.
Christofias says the divided island’s right to search for potential mineral deposits inside its exclusive economic zone is non-negotiable and that any foreign meddling is unacceptable.
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Cyprus was split into an internationally recognized Greek speaking south and a breakaway Turkish speaking north in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.
Turkey says the south’s gas search disregards Turkish Cypriot rights and has sent a warship-escorted research vessel to also look for gas off Cyprus.
Christofias repeated on Saturday that the island’s natural resources belong to all Cypriots.
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