NEWS

Trump urges resolution of East Med issues

VASSILIS NEDOS

TAGS: Diplomacy

Against the backdrop of regional tensions, not least due to Ankara's involvement in the Libya crisis and its maritime border deal with the Tripoli-based government, US President Donald Trump has called for a resolution of Greek-Turkish differences in a phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Today, @realDonaldTrump spoke with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. The two leaders discussed the need to eliminate foreign interference and maintain the ceasefire in Libya. The leaders agreed that the violence being carried out in Idlib, Syria must stop,” Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere tweeted on Tuesday, adding that “President Trump also highlighted the importance of Turkey and Greece resolving their disagreements in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

In response, Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas described Trump's intervention as a reflection of Washington's insistence that no “provocative actions” should take place in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Trump's call was not necessarily heeded by Turkey as Erdogan Tuesday revisited some of Ankara's staple positions, regarding the pact with Libya. At the same time Turkish overflights also took place again over the Aegean.

Speaking to journalists during a flight to West Africa, Erdogan said that Turkey does not accept that the island of Crete has the sort of influence that the Greek mainland has – in terms of sea zones. He did however imply that Crete does have an influence, albeit a limited one. Moreover, Erdogan said that during his recent talks with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis he called for “Greece not to preoccupy itself with us” because “there will be no harm from us.” 

Meanwhile Mitsotakis will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris Wednesday. The range of issues that will be discussed include the strengthening of the strategic relationship between the two states and the situation in Libya, as well as the purchase by Greece of Belh@rra frigates.

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