In the ongoing case of Turkey drilling on the Cyprus coast, the USA’s government has urged Turkey to cease its oil-drilling operations.

In a statement, the State Department condemned the act, calling it a “provocative step” that would increase tension in the region. They further said that the island’s reserves should be shared between communities on an equal basis, just like all other types of resources.

Turkey has so far declined to comment on the matter – it has not responded to requests by both the USA and Greek Cypriots, who have and are protesting on the issue.

The island nation of Cyprus was split into a Greek South Cyprus and a Turkish North Cyprus since 1974, when Turkey sent its own troops in response to a military coup by the Greeks. While the Greek portion is recognized internationally, the Turkish north is recognized exclusively by Turkey.