Turkey, Germany discuss escalation of tensions in East Med

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel amid mounting tensions in Eastern Mediterranean over exploration of energy reserves.

Erdogan told Merkel that Turkey believes in solving problems in the Eastern Mediterranean in the framework of international law based on dialogue and equity, said a statement by Turkey’s Presidential Communications Directorate on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

They also discussed regional developments and evaluated steps to enhance bilateral relations, said the statement.

Earlier in the day, Erdogan said he was planning to hold phone conversations with Merkel and President of the European Council Charles Michel ahead of the EU’s extraordinary foreign ministers’ meeting on Friday.

The EU’s Foreign Affairs Council will discuss recent tensions between Greece and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean after Ankara sent a vessel and its warships for seismic research in the region where Athens claims continental rights.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also held phone conversations with his Hungarian, Lithuanian and Bulgarian counterparts on Thursday, and with EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, foreign ministers of Estonia and Finland on Wednesday after Greece asked for an emergency meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council to discuss the issue.