Erdogan, Merkel discuss East Med tension

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held virtual talks on regional affairs, particularly the latest tension in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“During the video conference on Thursday, President Erdogan reiterated his commitment to a fair allocation (of energy resources), whereby the rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean would be protected, and which would serve the interests of all littoral states,” said a statement by the Turkish Presidential Communications Office.

Erdogan accused Greece, the Greek Cypriots, and the states supporting them of having been taking steps to escalate the tension, Xinhua news agency reported citing the statement as saying.

The President welcomed Merkel’s efforts to contribute to the solution of the problem “that has been caused by recent steps by Greece and its supporters, which undermined regional peace”, it added

Athens and Ankara have been at odds over hydrocarbon rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Earlier last month, Turkey dispatched its seismic survey vessel, Oruc Reis, escorted by Turkish warships to the area after Greece and Egypt signed a maritime border agreement.

Greece, which has called on Ankara to withdraw its vessels from the area, also deployed warships to monitor the Turkish activities there.