Cyprus accuses Turkey of illegal drilling in East Med after renewed survey plans

Greek Cypriot government has accused Turkey of continuing what it called illegal drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean on Wednesday, after Turkey extended operations of Yavuz drillship in the contested area off Cyprus, Reuters reported.

But Nicosia also said that it was ready to engage in dialogue with Ankara to resolve disputes over exploration rights.

"Yesterday, unfortunately a Turkish NAVTEX to expand illegal drilling by the Yavuz vessel was extended when at the same time, a series of initiatives are ongoing that seek an end to Ankara's unlawful actions and de-escalation," Reuters cited Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades as saying after a meeting with European Council President Charles Michel in Nicosia.

Anastasiades's remarks come a week ahead of a special summit of European Union leaders on Sept. 24-25 where they will discuss the crisis between Cyprus and Turkey.

Anastasiades said Turkey was continuing its provocations in the eastern Mediterranean, adding Cyprus would enter dialogue - but not under threats.

https://www.reuters.com/article/cyprus-turkey-eu-michel/cyprus-says-ready-for-a-dialogue-with-turkey-but-not-under-threats-idUSA8N2FS01J