Politics

Turkish, EU leaders discuss E.Mediterranean issues

Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan, EU's Charles Michel also talk about regional issues in phone call

Ferdi Turkten   | 13.08.2020
Turkish, EU leaders discuss E.Mediterranean issues

ANKARA

The Turkish president and European Council head on Thursday discussed recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, a statement said.

In a phone call, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Charles Michel also spoke about regional issues, said Turkey’s Communications Directorate.

Erdogan said Turkey wants to protect the rights of all countries and reach a win-win situation for everyone in the region.

Turkey will continue to protect Ankara's rights against attempts to sideline it, the president added.

The conversation came ahead of Friday’s extraordinary European Union Foreign Affairs Council meeting to address recent Turkish-Greek tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Earlier this week, Turkey resumed energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean after Greece and Egypt signed a controversial maritime delimitation deal.

The agreement came only a week after Ankara said it would postpone its oil and gas exploration as a goodwill gesture.

But, after declaring the deal "null and void," Turkey authorized the Oruc Reis seismic research ship to continue its activities in an area within the country's continental shelf.

The ship will continue the two-week mission until Aug. 23 along with the ships Cengiz Han and Ataman.

Erdogan said the only solution to the dispute was through dialogue and negotiation, and urged Athens to respect Turkey’s rights.

Turkey has consistently opposed efforts for Greece to declare an exclusive economic zone based on small islands near Turkish shores, violating the interests of Turkey, the country with the longest coastline in the Mediterranean.

*Writing by Seda Sevencan

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