UN calls for restraint in East Mediterranean drilling row

The United Nations on Tuesday called for restraint in a mounting row over gas exploration off the coast of Cyprus, stressing that the dispute had not affected peace talks on the divided island.

?We really want these talks to succeed, we are putting our main effort into making sure these talks do succeed,? Alexander Downer, the UN?s special envoy to Cyprus, said.

?In the meantime we hope the… various sides will act with due restraint to ensure that in no way this issue derails these talks,? he added.

Earlier Tuesday, officials in Ankara said a Turkish ship had started searching for oil and gas close to the area where Cypriot authorities have launched drilling with a US firm.

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