World

Greece boosts navy mission amid spat with Turkey , denies directly related to energy survey

  • Cyprus' Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, centre, shakes hands with his counterparts of Egypt Sameh Shoukry, right, and Greek Evangelos Venizelos after their meeting at the foreign ministry in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. Venizelos, Kasoulides and Shoukry, told reporters after his meeting with President Anastasiades that Greece will be making its presence more felt in the seas off Cyprus but that it was due to its NATO and U.N. obligations and not because of Turkey’s recent activities in the area. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    Cyprus' Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, centre, shakes hands with his counterparts of Egypt Sameh Shoukry, right, and Greek Evangelos Venizelos after their meeting at the foreign ministry in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. Venizelos, Kasoulides and Shoukry, told reporters after his meeting with President Anastasiades that Greece will be making its presence more felt in the seas off Cyprus but that it was due to its NATO and U.N. obligations and not because of Turkey’s recent activities in the area. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

  • Cyprus' Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, center, with his counterparts of Egypt Sameh Shoukry, left, and Greek Evangelos Venizelos, right, speak to the media after their meeting at the foreign ministry in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. Venizelos, Kasoulides and Shoukry, told reporters after his meeting with President  Anastasiades that Greece will be making its presence more felt in the seas off Cyprus but that it was due to its NATO and U.N. obligations and not because of Turkey’s recent activities in the area. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    Cyprus' Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, center, with his counterparts of Egypt Sameh Shoukry, left, and Greek Evangelos Venizelos, right, speak to the media after their meeting at the foreign ministry in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. Venizelos, Kasoulides and Shoukry, told reporters after his meeting with President Anastasiades that Greece will be making its presence more felt in the seas off Cyprus but that it was due to its NATO and U.N. obligations and not because of Turkey’s recent activities in the area. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

Greece's foreign minister says his country will boost its naval presence in the east Mediterranean as part of NATO and United Nations-approved missions — making the announcement in Cyprus amid renewed tension with Turkey over oil and gas exploration rights off the war-divided island.

Evangelos Venizelos said Greece would be sending a navy frigate and submarine, denying it was in response to an ongoing Turkish survey mission in waters where Cyprus has already licensed companies to drill.

Cyprus has been split along ethnic lines since 1974, and Turkey only recognizes the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north where it maintains a strong military presence. The internationally-recognized government is in the Greek Cypriot south.

Venizelos met the foreign ministers of Cyprus and Egypt for talks that centered on offshore energy rights.