It was reported in Greek media today that European Union Council President Charles Michel held a telephone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to information disclosed by EU Council spokesman Barend Leyts.
The call occurred amid sharply-rising tensions in the Mediterranean between Turkey and Greece, as Turkey sent its oil and gas exploration vessel Oruc Reis to the sea atop Greece’s continental shelf between the island of Crete and the island nation of Cyprus on Monday.
At press time, it is not known exactly what transpired in the conversation between the EU Council President and the Turkish leader. The call was made just one day prior to Friday’s emergency meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, as had been requested by Greece earlier this week.
At the same time on Thursday, Turkey’s Anadolu Press Agency stated that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had indeed had a telephone conversation, as had earlier been rumored, with Erdogan, during which they discussed pressing issues in the region, including the difficult situation in the eastern Mediterranean which presented itself this week.
According to the Turkish news agency, Erdogan told the German chancellor that Turkey is “in favor of dialogue under international law.”
The same news agency had reported earlier that the Turkish leader also referred to what had taken place this week in the Eastern Mediterranean vis-á-vis Greece. He reportedly stated that the escalation in tensions is due to actions on the part of Greece, not his country.
“The only solution in the Mediterranean is dialogue and negotiation, Turkey is not seeking ‘adventure’,” he reportedly said.
The Turkish President also attacked French President Emmanuel Macron, describing Macron’s recent visit to Beirut as a “spectacle,” and even charging him with having “colonial” aspirations in the country of Lebanon, a former French protectorate.