Duvar EnglishTurkey, Greece agree to resume talks after four years in Istanbul
TurkishPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and NATO Secretary-General JensStoltenberg held a phone call on Sept. 23 and discussed the situationin the eastern Mediterranean.
The phone conversation came a day after Turkey and Greece agreed to resume talks over their contested maritime claims in the region.
Erdoğan told Stoltenberg that the "future course of the announced exploratory talks will be contingent on the sincere steps Greek will take to clear the air," according to a statement released by Turkish Presidency.
Erdoğan said that Turkey is in favor of dialogue and reducing tension in the region and this was made clear not only by rhetoric but also through Ankara's actions.
Following the phone talk, Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter: “Spoke with President @RTErdogan about the situation in the #EastMed and the ongoing efforts @NATO for military de-confliction to avoid incidents & accidents. Both Turkey and Greece are valued Allies and #NATO is a platform for dialogue,” he wrote.
Spoke with President @RTErdogan about the situation in the #EastMed and the ongoing efforts @NATO for military de-confliction to avoid incidents & accidents. Both Turkey & Greece are valued Allies and #NATO is a platform for dialogue.— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) September 23, 2020
ÖmerÇelik, spokesman for Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and DevelopmentParty (AKP), said on Sept. 22 that preparations for the resumption oftalks with Greece were under way and that the two sides were workingon the parameters.
The Greek foreign ministry also confirmed the talks, saying the exploratory talks will be held soon in Istanbul, without providing any precise date.
Greece and Turkey have held talks on continental shelf disputes before – the last were in 2016.