Cyprus, Egypt, Greece say gas search in sea won't be stopped

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias). Cypriot Parliamentary Speaker Demetris Syllouris, center, with Egyptian counterpart Ali Abdel-Aal, right, and Nikos Voutsis of Greece, left, talk during a press conference in the parliament house in capital Nicosia, Cyprus,... (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias). Cypriot Parliamentary Speaker Demetris Syllouris, center, with Egyptian counterpart Ali Abdel-Aal, right, and Nikos Voutsis of Greece, left, talk during a press conference in the parliament house in capital Nicosia, Cyprus,...
(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias). Cypriot Parliamentary Speaker Demetris Syllouris, center, with counterparts Ali Abdel-Aal of Egypt, right, and Nikos Voutsis of Greece, left, talk during a press conference i the parliament house in capital Nicosia, Cyprus,... (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias). Cypriot Parliamentary Speaker Demetris Syllouris, center, with counterparts Ali Abdel-Aal of Egypt, right, and Nikos Voutsis of Greece, left, talk during a press conference i the parliament house in capital Nicosia, Cyprus,...
(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias). Cypriot Parliamentary Speaker Demetris Syllouris, center, with his counterparts Ali Abdel-Aal of Egypt, right, and Nikos Voutsis of Greece, left, talk during a press conference in the parliament house in capital Nicosia, Cy... (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias). Cypriot Parliamentary Speaker Demetris Syllouris, center, with his counterparts Ali Abdel-Aal of Egypt, right, and Nikos Voutsis of Greece, left, talk during a press conference in the parliament house in capital Nicosia, Cy...

By MENELAOS HADJICOSTIS
Associated Press

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) - The speaker of Egypt's parliament appeared to push back Monday at Turkey's opposition to offshore drilling operations that Turkey isn't part of, saying cooperation between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece sent a message to any countries that tried to stop them.

Egypt's Ali Abdel-Aal didn't specifically mention Turkey during a trilateral meeting with the parliament speakers of Greece and Cyprus in Nicosia. But the context for his remarks in the capital of Cyprus, an island nation divided into ethnically Turkish and Greek sides, was clear.

"This meeting sends a great message to all countries that try to prevent eastern Mediterranean countries from using their natural resources in the Mediterranean Sea," Abdel-Aal said.

Host speaker Demetris Syllouris was more direct. He accused Turkey of violating international law by using "threats and provocations" to make Cyprus' offshore exploration areas its own, including by dispatching a vessel to perform seismic surveys off Cyprus.

Italy's Eni, France's Total and ExxonMobil are involved in Cyprus' search for gas off its southern coast.

Turkey insists the exploration infringes on its rights and the rights of Turkish Cypriots to east Mediterranean hydrocarbon reserves. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said last month that Turkey planned to send a ship to join the search for gas around Cyprus.

The Greek Cypriot-led government has said it is exercising a sovereign right and that any future gas proceeds would be shared equitably if deal to reunify the island is reached with the breakaway Turkish Cypriots.

Cyprus and Egypt already have an agreement for an envisioned pipeline to convey Cypriot gas to processing plants in Egypt.

___

Sam Magdy in Cairo contributed.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."