Turkey, Greece ready to resume exploratory talks

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Turkey and Greece have expressed they are ready to resume exploratory talks, following weeks of tension in the eastern Mediterranean on maritime zone dispute between the two neighbors.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a triple format video conference meeting with European Council President Charles Michel and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sept. 22.

According to a statement from the Turkish Presidential Communications Directorate, Turkey-EU relations were discussed comprehensively, along with the developments in the eastern Mediterranean at the tripartite summit. Turkey and Greece are ready to start exploratory talks, said the statement.

The relative momentum for calming the tension in the eastern Mediterranean and operating dialogue channels should be protected with mutual steps, Erdoğan said at the meeting, noting that Turkey always emphasizes dialogue and negotiations and did not compromise its attitude of common sense despite all the provocation.

Expressing his appreciation for Germany’s mediation efforts, Erdoğan stated that the steps to be taken by Greece will be important in terms of how the agreement reached the point of reviving exploratory talks and other dialogue channels will proceed.

Erdoğan said he believes that a regional conference to be held with the participation of all parties in the eastern Mediterranean, including the Turkish Cypriots, will make positive and constructive decisions that will benefit everyone.

Erdoğan said he hoped that the upcoming EU leaders summit on Sept. 24-25 will bring a new breath to the Turkey-EU relations expressing his expectation on upgrading the Customs Union agreement, launching the visa liberalization process and proceeding migration reconciliation so that the EU-Turkey ties can move to further positive platforms.

Hurriyet Daily News

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