CAIRO, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Egypt expressed on Tuesday its concern over Turkey's reported plans to explore oil near Cyprus.
In a statement, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry indicated that the Turkish stance represents Ankara's determination to continue its unilateral measures that would escalate the situation in eastern Mediterranean.
Egypt underlines the necessity of not escalating the situation and respecting the rules of international law, according to the statement.
In January, Mediterranean countries have established a natural gas board that embraced Egypt, Israel, Cyprus and other neighbors, but preferred to exclude Turkey.
Countries around the eastern Mediterranean made an important move with the creation of a forum to develop their new natural gas discoveries.
The forum came at a time when the three states are at odds with Turkey, which rejects a maritime border demarcation agreement between Egypt and Cyprus that allows exploration for gas in the area.
The Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum formalizes growing energy ties among recent rivals for the development of energy infrastructure to tap the region's energy potential for Europe and beyond.