Turkey slams EU for backing Cyprus in drilling dispute

International

FILE-In this Thursday, June 20, 2019 file photo, a Turkish police officer patrols the dock, backdropped by the drilling ship ‘Yavuz’ that was dispatched to the Mediterranean, at the port of Dilovasi, outside Istanbul. The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Wednesday, July 10, 2019 it rejects the European Union’s statements condemning its efforts to drill for gas in waters off the coast of Cyprus and says the EU cannot be considered an impartial mediator for the divided island. Cyprus says Turkey is encroaching in waters where the country has exclusive economic rights while the European Union warned Turkey of sanctions. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey is rejecting European Union condemnation of its efforts to drill for gas in waters off the coast of Cyprus and says the bloc cannot be considered an impartial mediator for the divided island.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that Turkey will press ahead with efforts to safeguard Turkish Cypriots’ rights until they are included in the island’s decision-making mechanisms, including concerning the sharing of the island’s resources.

Cyprus says Turkey is encroaching in waters where the east Mediterranean island nation has exclusive economic rights, and the EU has threatened sanctions.

The Turkish Fatih ship started drilling last month 42 miles (67 kilometers) off Cyprus’ west coast. A second vessel, Yavuz, has now sailed to an area off the Karpas peninsula on Cyprus’ east coast.

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