EU member Greek Cyprus vowed on Wednesday to use its veto on Turkey's entry talks, in an escalating row among east Mediterranean neighbours over hydrocarbon reserves.
Turkey says any hydrocarbon reserves do not only belong to Greek Cypriots, but also to Turkish Cypriots.
Rhetoric over ownership of speculated oil and gas deposits has sharpened after a deterioration of relations between Turkey and Israel, the discovery of massive gas fields by Israel and plans by Greek Cyprus to drill as early as next month.
Greek Cyprus has blocked the opening of several negotiating chapters in Turkey-EU entry talks. One of those is energy.
"The position of Cyprus has not changed. Turkey must make a formal commitment to the EU that it will end its provocations towards the Republic of Cyprus and stop obstructing Cypriot efforts in the field of energy," said Stefanos Stefanou, the Greek Cypriot government spokesman.
Cyprus is represented in the EU by its internationally-recognised Greek Cypriot government.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said last week Ankara was ready to deploy its navy across the Mediterranean.
Erdogan said that Israel will understand it has no ownership on certain exclusive economic spheres.
Erdogan said that Turkey was a guarantor country in Cyprus and that it would take under guarantee the right to travel in international waters permanently.
The drilling could complicate peace talks launched between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides in 2008, while it coincides with a major push from the United Nations to resolve the Cyprus conflict by mid-2012.
Noble , the U.S. company will launch an exploratory drill in one offshore sector southeast of Cyprus around the beginning of October.
Cypriot President Demetris Christofias on Tuesday said the island would press ahead with drilling as its sovereign right.
Noble reported a massive gas discovery off Israel, and close to the Greek Cypriot field, last year.
Last Mod: 14 Eylül 2011, 16:01