European Council President Donald Tusk says the European Union "stands united" behind Cyprus as tensions between the Mediterranean island nation and Turkey escalate over offshore gas drilling.
Speaking Thursday after an informal EU summit in Romania, Tusk said the EU "expects Turkey to respect the sovereign rights" of its member nation and the bloc will closely monitor the situation.
Cyprus' president has called Turkey's bid to drill for natural gas in waters off the island a "second invasion" and a violation of international law.
President Nicos Anastasiades said Turkey's behavior creates "insurmountable problems" in efforts to restart talks aimed at reunifying ethnically divided Cyprus. He said Monday there can be no talks while the island remains under threat.
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades met with British Prime Minister Theresa May in London Tuesday. It is reported that the two discussed the latest developments with regards to efforts to resume negotiations on the Cyprus problem.
A Downing Street spokesperson said that May "expressed hope that progress would be made towards the resumption of talks."
Turkey will begin drilling for resources around Cyprus, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday, a move that could create tensions with neighboring Cyprus and Greece over ownership of natural resources.
Attempts to tap gas and oil in the eastern Mediterranean have caused friction between Athens and Ankara.