A U.N. envoy says he sees an opportunity to resume suspended talks to reunify ethnically divided Cyprus amid signs that a clash over an offshore natural gas search may be ebbing.

Espen Barth Eide said after talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades Tuesday that the reasons that led to a halt in talks may be over and gas developments could create "a climate where talks can continue."

Anastasiades suspended talks in October last year after Turkey launched a search for the fossil fuel in waters where the Cypriot government licensed other companies to drill.

Turkey says a unilateral gas search by the internationally recognized Greek Cypriots ignores the rights of breakaway Turkish Cypriots.

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.