ANKARA: Top leaders from Turkey, Germany, and the European Union on Tuesday held a video meeting focusing on the recent tension in the Eastern Mediterranean, said Turkish officials.
The trilateral meeting included Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Charles Michel, head of the European Council, said Turkey’s Communications Directorate.
Underlining his appreciation for Berlin’s mediation efforts, Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed the importance of a regional conference to be held in the Eastern Mediterranean with the participation of all parties, including Turkish Cypriots, said a directorate statement.
Greece’s step will be important for how the agreement to revitalize dialogue channels proceeds, said Erdogan.
It was also underlined during the meeting that Turkey and Greece are ready to start exploratory talks.
Also included in the high-level meeting were Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, National Intelligence Organization (MIT) head Hakan Fidan, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin, and Cabinet Chief Hasan Dogan.
Greece has disputed Turkey’s 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 in the Mediterranean – has sent out drill ships to explore for energy reserves on its continental shelf, saying that both Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have rights in the region.
In order to reduce tensions, Turkey has called for dialogue to ensure the fair sharing of resources.
The EU also called for negotiations between the parties. EU leaders will discuss the conflict as well as the bloc’s relations with Turkey during their extraordinary summit in Brussels this Thursday and Friday.
In order to prepare for the leaders’ meeting, the European Parliament will pass a resolution on the topic this week.