Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at the EU summit finale news conference at the European Council building in Brussels, Belgium October 16, 2020. [Kenzo Tribouillard/Pool via REUTERS]
Turkey's actions in the east Mediterranean, where it is pursuing natural gas exploration in contested waters, are provocative, regrettable and unnecessary, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday.
"We agreed that the recent unilateral measures taken by Turkey, which are of course provocative, are increasing tensions rather than easing them," Merkel told reporters at an EU summit in Brussels. "This is very regrettable and not necessary."
"We are keen to continue along the path we have taken with Turkey," she added. "The further development of EU-Turkey relations is in the interest of both sides."
Two weeks after their last summit where leaders discussed economic sanctions, the EU has so far failed to persuade Ankara to stop exploring in waters disputed by Greece and Cyprus.