Greek leader says Turkey must respect Cyprus' right to gas search for peace talks to restart

Greece's prime minister says Turkey must respect Cyprus' right to search for gas off its shores instead of issuing threats, so that suspended talks to reunify the ethnically divided island can resume.

Alexis Tsipras said Monday that Turkey's dispatching of a research vessel to search for gas in waters where the Cypriot government has licensed other companies to drill is a "gross violation of international law" that undermines a return to peace talks.

Cypriot President broke off talks in October after Turkey said it would send the vessel.

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup aiming for union with Greece. Turkey doesn't recognize Cyprus as a state and says it won't allow a unilateral Greek Cypriot gas search that flouts Turkish Cypriot rights.