Turkey calls for making Mediterranean ‘peace basin’ again

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sept. 28 called for making the eastern Mediterranean a “basin of peace” again and said that he believed the relative parties could reach a win-win formula.

“Let’s turn the Mediterranean into a peace basin again. Let’s not pollute the white waters of the Mediterranean. Today, we have given support to the diplomacy of [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel. I believe the win-win formula will be found,” he said during a symposium on international maritime law and eastern Mediterranean.

Stating that Turkey has two pillars in its policy regarding the eastern Mediterranean, Erdoğan said, “The first is the just and fair delimitation of maritime jurisdictions, and the second is the protection of the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots as partners of the island.”

Turkey’s preference is on equitably resolving disputes, the president said, reiterating that Ankara has emphasized that it is ready for an unconditional dialogue with Greece.

In a message sent to the United Nations on Sept. 22, Erdoğan proposed a regional conference to settle territorial disputes in the eastern Mediterranean.

“We believe that the establishment of the Energy Cooperation Forum will be beneficial,” he added.

Noting that Ankara favors cooperation, peace and equity, but is against one-sided fait accompli, Erdoğan said, “We want the climate of peace to be re-established in the region.”

“The Mediterranean is the sea that brings us closer together and strengthens our cooperation. For Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Turkey and Greece, the Mediterranean is a roof to our big family. We can solve problems in the Mediterranean not by excluding each other, but by bringing the actors together at the same table,” Erdoğan stated.

Hurriyet Daily News

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