Turkey's Erdogan, France's Macron discuss Eastern Mediterranean tensions

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and French President Emmanuel Macron attend a news conference during the Syria summit in Istanbul, Turkey, October 27, 2018. (Reuters)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and France’s Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday they had held their first conversation in months following a standoff between the two NATO allies over mounting tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

In a statement after a call between the two leaders, the Turkish presidency said Erdogan emphasized the need for using diplomatic opportunities to de-escalate the situation and achieve sustainable negotiations.

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The French foreign ministry said following the call, which lasted over an hour, that it hoped a dialogue between Turkey and Greece could continue, and said Macron had called for a similar approach with Cyprus.

“He (Macron) urged Turkey to fully respect the sovereignty of European Union member states as well as international law, and to refrain from any further unilateral action which could provoke tensions,” the French foreign office said, adding that Macron and Erdogan had agreed to keep in contact.

Relations between the EU and Turkey are badly strained on a number of issues, including exploration for hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean, where Ankara has been at loggerheads with EU member states Cyprus and Greece.

Read more:

Contact with Turkey restarted over eastern Mediterranean crisis, says Greece

Negotiating with Turkey will worsen the eastern Mediterranean crisis

Erdogan warns France’s Macron not to ‘mess with Turkey’ over eastern Mediterranean

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Last Update: Wednesday, 23 September 2020 KSA 03:03 - GMT 00:03
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