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Turkey warns ExxonMobil against drilling with Greek Cypriots

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has cautioned an international energy company against cooperating with the government of Cyprus in its search for gas.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said Sunday that the exploratory drilling ExxonMobil has started in the eastern Mediterranean “did not contribute to the region’s stability” and could change “sensitive balances.”

Turkey strongly objects to Cyprus searching for gas on its own. The Turkish government says any potential wealth must be shared with Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots in ethnically divided Cyprus.

Aksoy noted he was repeating “warnings” to energy companies about the “Greek Cypriots’ one-sided exploration and extraction.”

He says Turkey plans to begin drilling in areas off the northern coast of Cyprus’ coast along with exploring the continental shelf of Turkey, which began last month.

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