Greece: EU to decide response to Turkey’s Cyprus drilling

Nikos Dendias, Nicos Christodoulides

Greece’s foreign minister Nikos Dendias, left, and his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Christodoulides talk to the media during a press conference after a meeting in Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. Dendias is in Cyprus for talks. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Greece’s foreign minister says top diplomats from European Union member states will decide next week on how to respond to Turkey’s bid to drill for gas in waters where Cyprus has licensed European energy companies to conduct a hydrocarbons search.

Nikos Dendias said Monday after talks with his Cypriot counterpart that Turkey’s actions flout international law and aren’t those of a modern, European country founded on the rule of law.

The EU has already imposed some sanctions against Turkey for earlier drilling activity in waters where Cyprus has exclusive economic rights.

Cyprus called Turkey’s latest drilling bid a “severe escalation.”

Turkey doesn’t recognize Cyprus as a state and says it’s defending its interests to the area’s hydrocarbon reserves as well as those of breakaway Turkish Cypriots.

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