Athens adds to Nicosia’s call on Ankara to stop gas threats

Athens has insisted that Ankara show respect for the “sovereign rights” of Nicosia after an attempt by Turkish authorities last week to claim access to certain blocks of Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Concerns lingered amid diplomatic circles on Monday after Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Constantinos Koutras (photo) called on Turkey on Sunday to respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus as a member of the United Nations and the European Union. “Cyprus cannot bear any further violation of international law,” Koutras said, adding that “Turkey’s European course and the course of the negotiations in Cyprus hinge on Turkey’s conduct.”

Nicosia warned on Monday that a new peace drive on the divided island could fail if Ankara continues to obstruct attempts by Nicosia to explore for gas off its coast. “We consider this development particularly serious,” Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides told reporters in Nicosia.

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