Azerbaijan , Baku, Sept. 28 / Trend , G.Dadashova /
The European parliamentarians were united in their concern at the rising tensions between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus in the dispute over oil and gas exploration, EU Website reported.
In Tuesday evening's debate, they condemned Turkey's threats and stressed that any threat against one Member State was a threat against the whole EU.
Most MEPs pointed to the growing importance of Turkey as a player in the region and underlined the need for good neighborly relations, stressing that Turkey, a candidate for EU membership, must accept Cyprus as a member of the EU.
Many underlined that the Republic of Cyprus has the right to explore for natural resources in its own economic zone while some suggested that both communities on the island should benefit from any exploitation of oil and gas resources, the report reads.
Several MEPs made the point that this dispute comes at a critical point in the UN negotiations on the reunification of the divided island of Cyprus. Some Members objected to Commissioner Füle's appeal for restraint from both sides, feeling that this should apply only to Turkey. MEPs hoped that the dispute could be swiftly resolved.
Turkey sent a ship on Friday to drill for gas and oil in waters to the north of the divided island of Cyprus, after the Government of the Republic of Cyprus announced last Tuesday that drilling for gas had begun in waters to the south east. Turkey has questioned the right of Cyprus to issue contracts for natural gas drilling.