Cyprus: Eni committed to gas search despite Turkey's dissent

The Cyprus government says Italian company Eni is committed to carrying on its search for gas off the east Mediterranean island despite Turkey's strong opposition.

A statement said Eni is "determined to fulfill its obligations" under its contracts with Cyprus to carry out exploratory drilling in six areas off Cyprus where it has been licensed do to so. The assurance came after Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides met Thursday with Eni Executive Vice President Lapo Pistelli in Rome.

The two men agreed on the significance of the eastern Mediterranean as an essential gas source for the region and Europe as well as on Cyprus' potentially central role in those plans.

Last month, Turkish warships blocked a rig from reaching an area southeast of Cyprus where Eni was scheduled to drill.