Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 21 /Trend A.Badalova/
Turkey is ready for joint implementation of energy projects with Cyprus if the Cypriotes do not insist on unilateral gas use, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz was quoted by Hurriyet newspaper.
"Energy sector should not become a reason for disagreements, but serve to peace," Yildiz said.
Cyprus is divided into a Greek Cypriot south and a Turkish Cypriot north. The southern administration began exploratory drilling for oil and gas last week, prompting strong protests from Turkey, which does not recognize the Greek Cypriot administration.
Greek Cyprus licensed US-based Noble Energy Inc. to search for oil and gas near the recently discovered Israeli offshore fields that contain more than 450 billion cubic meters (15.9 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas. Greek Cyprus is exploring areas, around 115 miles (185 kilometers) off Cyprus, near where Israel discovered gas.
Turkey, which backs Turkish Cyprus, has challenged the jurisdiction of Greek Cyprus in searching for oil and gas. It says that any natural resources found offshore should belong to both communities.