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Turkey denounces EU resolution on Cyprus island

European Parliament to vote on a resolution on tensions between Turkey and Greek Cypriot administration over oil and gas exploration in island's territorial waters.

Ankara will not accept the European Parliament decision on a resolution on a dispute between Turkey and the Greek Cypriot administration, Turkey's EU chief said on Thursday.

The European Parliament is set to vote on a resolution Thursday on current tensions between Turkey and the Greek Cypriot administration over oil and gas exploration in the island’s waters.

The draft resolution demands that Turkish vessels operating in waters in and around what the Greek Cypriot administration and the EU deem to be an "exclusive economic zone" be withdrawn immediately.

"It has no validity for us," said Turkey’s Minister of EU affairs and chief negotiator Volkan Bozkir, in reference to the resolution, during a meeting with Hungary's minister of foreign affairs and trade in Ankara.

"Although Turkey is respectful towards the European Parliament’s decision, this draft resolution is likely to end up like many other resolutions," said Bozkir, implying that it will have little or no consequences.

The draft resolution, which says Turkish vessel exploration in the island is "illegal" and "provocative,” is expected to be approved by the parliament.

"Turkish vessels should be retrieved from Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone," the draft says.

Negotiations between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots resumed after a two-year pause in February 2013. The previous round of talks had collapsed partly because of the eurozone debt crisis impact on the government in the Greek Cypriot administration’s capital of Nicosia.

The Greek Cypriot administration suspended the most recent talks on October 7 after Turkey sent a ship to monitor an oil and gas exploration mission off the island’s coast.

Turkey and the government of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have strongly opposed any unilateral move by the Greek Cypriot administration to explore hydrocarbon resources around the island, saying its natural resources should be exploited in a fair manner under a united Cyprus.

In 1974, an attempt was made by Greek Cypriots to forcibly join the island to Athens through "enosis" (union) via a coup attempt. This was resisted by an armed Turkish peace mission in accordance with the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee. Consequently, Turkish Cypriots set up their own state in the north of the island in 1983, recognized by Turkey.

The Greek Cypriot administration is a member of the EU and internationally recognized.

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