Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have discussed the situation in the eastern Mediterranean with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and the head of the EU Commission it was announced on Sept. 23.
“Spoke with President @RTErdogan about the situation in the #EastMed and the ongoing efforts @NATO for military de-confliction to avoid incidents & accidents,” Stoltenberg said on Twitter.
“Both Turkey and Greece are valued Allies and #NATO is a platform for dialogue.”
Greece, with France’s support, has disputed Turkey’s energy exploration, 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 drill ships with a military escort to explore for energy on its continental shelf, saying Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have rights in the region.
To reduce tensions, Ankara has called for dialogue to ensure fair sharing of the region’s resources.
‘Turkey keeps calm despite Greece’s provocation’
Turkey keeps prudent and calm attitude despite Greece’s provocations and rising tension in the region, the Turkish president said during the phone conversation with Stoltenberg.
Erdoğan said the course of exploratory talks would depend on the sincere steps to be taken by Greece in an effort to ease the tension.
He said Turkey is in favor of dialogue and reducing tension in the Eastern Mediterranean and his country has made it clear not only by rhetoric but by its actions.
The Turkish president on Sept. 23. also held a video conference with the head of the EU Commission to discuss Turkish-EU relations and regional developments, according to the country’s Communications Directorate.
Erdoğan told Ursula von der Leyen that maximalist claims by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration were at the
core of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, with both ignoring the rights of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
Stressing that Turkey has always called for dialogue since tensions erupted recently in the Eastern Mediterranean, Erdogan said his country is ready for exploratory talks with the Greek side and expressed hope that Greece would not miss an opportunity for diplomacy once again.
He went on to say that steps towards renewing the 2016 migration deal between Ankara and the Brussels, as well as updating the customs union between them and ensuring visa liberalization for Turkish nationals traveling to EU countries would help improve bilateral ties.
Erdoğan also reiterated his call for fair burden-sharing on the issue of migration, urging the EU to investigate violations by Greece and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) that have been pushing back migrant boats.
Hurriyet Daily News