The United States on Thursday said it supports Cyprus’ right to explore for oil and natural gas resources, despite Turkey’s strong opposition, the State Department said Thursday.
State department spokesman Mark Toner said at a press briefing that Cyprus decision does not hinder reunification between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot on the island.
“The United States continues to support strongly the Cypriot-led negotiation process conducted under the U.N. good offices to reunify the island into a bizonal bi-communal federation,” Toner said. He added that the U.S. also believes the island oil and gas resources, like all of its resources should be shared between both communities.
“We don’t believe that developing offshore energy resources need hinder those reunification talks,” Toner noted.
He also noted “having a U.S. company involved in developing the energy resources of Cyprus is also positive”.
Ankara sharply escalated tensions on Tuesday by provocatively sending a military-escorted research vessel into waters where Cyprus, shrugging off Turkish warnings, began exploratory drilling for potentially huge underwater gas reserves south of the divided Mediterranean holiday island last week using a US company, Noble Energy