Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday that there was no need to take EU steps against Ankara over the drilling in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.

In the most recent development of the case, Northern Cypriot authorities filed a proposal to the Greek Cypriot government calling for cooperation on the extraction of natural gas off the coasts of Cyprus.

The proposal was made several days after the European Commission and the EU diplomatic service, in their turn, proposed several possible measures on Turkey’s drilling off Cyprus coast to EU leaders.

Two Turkish drillships, Yavuz and Fatih, are currently anchored off the coast of Cyprus in order to drill for oil and gas. Cyprus and Greece see it as a provocation, and the European Union has called on Turkey to end the drilling. Ankara, meanwhile, believes it has a right to drill for regional natural resources.

The row over hydrocarbons between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey intensified in 2011 when the first gas deposits were discovered off the coast of the island.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 after Turkish troops entered the island under the claim of protecting Cypriot Turks from the Greek community. Nearly a decade later, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was declared with only Turkey recognising it.

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