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Three countries to Turkey: Leave that gas alone or else...

Staff writer |
The governments of Egypt, Greece and Cyprus urged Turkey to stop trying to chart gas deposits in areas of the claimed by Cyprus, saying the work was illegal.

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Cyprus is anxious to develop the gas reserves in its so-called exclusive economic zone, an offshore region lying south of the island. Turkey does not recognise Cyprus and the government in Nicosia has accused it of dispatching a research vessel to collect seismic data in the disputed area.

The foreign ministers of Egypt, Greece and Cyprus met in Nicosia to prepare for a summit between the three nations next month, and condemned Turkey's actions. "The ministers deplored the recent illegal actions perpetrated within Cyprus's EEZ, as well as the unauthorised seismic operations being conducted therein," they said in a statement.

Cyprus discovered an estimated 5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas in one offshore field and has licensed U.S. energy firm Noble, Italy's ENI and France's Total to search for gas.

"We are hopeful all activity in the eastern Mediterranean will conform with international regulations... understandings which are based on good neighbourly relations," Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri told reporters.

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