Erdogan urges E. Med dialogue in letter to EU leaders

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Turkey’s president on Wednesday sent a letter to the leaders of EU countries, reiterating Ankara’s call for dialogue with Greece amid tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, APA reports citing Anadolu Agency.

“I would like to emphasize once again that we are ready for dialogue with Greece without any preconditions,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in the letter addressed to the heads of EU institutions, as well as the leaders of member countries in the bloc except for Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration.

Erdogan underlined that relations with Brussels have always been a priority for Turkey and that “significant progress has been achieved in this regard, especially during our term in office.”

He noted, however, that there have been “compelling challenges” in the six decades spanning the two sides’ relations.

“Recently, our relations stand in the face of another novel challenge due to the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

In the Eastern Mediterranean, tensions have been running high for weeks as Greece has disputed Turkey’s energy exploration.

Turkey — the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean — sent out drill ships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, asserting its own rights in the region, as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

To reduce tensions, Ankara has called for dialogue to ensure fair sharing of the region’s resources.