Erdoğan, Trump discuss Mediterranean tension on phone

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. President Donald Trump talked on the phone on Aug. 26 to discuss bilateral and regional issues, including the Mediterranean.

Erdoğan reminded Trump that Turkey is not a party creating instability in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Turkish Communications Directorate said in a statement.

He stressed that Turkey proved with “concrete actions” that it wants to reduce tensions and establish dialogue on the matter.

Greece has disputed Turkey’s current energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, trying to box in Turkish maritime territory based on small islands near the Turkish coast.

Turkey — the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean — has sent out drill ships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, saying that both Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have rights in the region.

Dialogue for fairly sharing these resources will be a win-win for all sides, say Turkish officials.

Turkey has also called foul on Athens for seeking EU support for blocking Ankara’s legitimate energy exploration.

Greece and Turkey must commit to dialogue

White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere also touched on Trump’s phone call with Erdoğan.

“President Trump reaffirmed that Greece and Turkey must commit to dialogue, which is the only path to resolving their differences. The two leaders also discussed important bilateral and regional issues,” he said on Twitter.

Separately, Deere also said that Trump spoke with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and discussed bilateral and regional matters.

He said Trump “expressed concern” over the increased tensions between NATO allies Turkey and Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Hurriyet Daily New

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