Greece: Turkey's gas drilling off Cyprus shows 'weakness'
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Greece: Turkey's gas drilling off Cyprus shows 'weakness'

A Turkish military guard post with Turkish, left, and Turkish Cypriot breakaway flags on the polls is seen at the Turkish Cypriot controlled area at the north part of the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, June 20, 2019. EU leaders meeting in Brussels are mulling possible actions against Turkey. European People's Party President Joseph Daul urged Turkey to stop its drilling activities he called "serious breach" of the rights of Cyprus which can "count on our full support and solidarity." (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA, Cyprus — The prime minister of Greece says Turkey’s ongoing drilling for gas in waters where Cyprus has exclusive economic rights is a sign of “weakness.”

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras warned Tuesday of “grave consequences” for Turkey’s relations with the European Union and for regional stability if the Turkish government persists.

Tsipras said “everyone knows” that Turkey’s “futile” exploration in waters where Cyprus has economic rights and there is no naval deterrent indicated weakness on Ankara’s part.

Turkey says it’s protecting its rights and those of breakaway Turkish Cypriots to the area’s energy reserves.

A Turkish drillship is operating off Cyprus’ west coast. Turkey has dispatched a second vessel to drill off the Mediterranean island nation’s east coast.

EU leaders have condemned the actions and warned of sanctions.

The Associated Press

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