NICOSIA — Cyprus says Turkey’s “extremely provocative” plans to renew an oil and gas search off its coast are preventing a resumption of talks aimed at reunifying the ethnically divided island.
Cyprus government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said Tuesday that the current deadlock in peace talks is due to Turkey’s “threatening and arrogant behavior.”
Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of a union with Greece. Turkey doesn’t recognize Cyprus as a state and insists that a unilateral oil and gas search by internationally recognized Greek Cypriots infringes on the rights of breakaway Turkish Cypriots.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades suspended talks in October after Turkey announced an initial gas search in waters where the Cypriot government has licensed other companies to drill.