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UN calls for dialogue to solve gas dispute in East Med

UN calls for dialogue to solve gas dispute in East Med
Concerned countries should abstain from escalation of "unnecessary tension" on hydrocarbon exploration activities, UN says

The United Nations (UN) expects the sides involved in the East Mediterranean gas dispute to abstain from the escalation of "unnecessary tension" on hydrocarbon exploration activities and solve the issues with dialogue, UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the daily press briefing, Haq said they are closely following developments in response to the Greek Cypriot Administration's unilateral hydrocarbon-related activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

"We believe that the concerned countries would abstain from escalation of unnecessary tension and try to solve the differences through dialogue on the issue of hydrocarbon research," he said.

Haq also noted that progress could be attained as long as both sides are willing to solve the Cyprus issue.

Turkey late Thursday warned the Greek Cypriot Administration about its hydrocarbon-related activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

"We are closely following the Greek Cypriot Administration’s ongoing unilateral hydrocarbon-related activities … which disregard the inalienable rights on natural resources of the Turkish Cypriot people, the co-owners of the Island," a foreign ministry statement read.

The talks to reunify the island of Cyprus recently ended in failure.

- Cyprus issue

The Eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks, and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

Representatives from the EU, the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaderships, and the guarantor nations of Turkey, Greece and the U.K., participated in the discussions that began at the end of last month to resolve the dispute.

The UN sought a peace deal to unite Cyprus under a federal umbrella that could also define the future of Europe's relations with Turkey, a key player in the conflict.

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