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Cyprus' FM briefs US officials on gas development
Cyprus' foreign minister briefing US officials on natural gas development
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' The foreign minister of Cyprus is discussing with U.S. officials her country's promising economic prospects from natural gas exploration.

Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis met with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday. The U.S. supports the exploratory drilling being conducted by the U.S. company Noble Energy Inc. despite objections from U.S. ally Turkey.

Turkey does not recognize Cyprus as a sovereign state and opposes any Greek Cypriot energy search on grounds that it undermines the rights of Turkish Cypriots to any oil and gas wealth.

Estimates are due this month of how much gas is in the field being explored off the island's coast. Kozakou-Marcoullis said she believes the prospects for gas development already have increased dramatically her country's strategic importance.

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