Erdogan tells EU's Michel that progress needed on improving Turkey-EU ties

FILE PHOTO: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a news conference during a visit to Moscow, Russia, March 5, 2020. Pavel Golovkin/Pool via REUTERS

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told European Council President Charles Michel on Monday that progress was needed on improving ties between Ankara and the bloc, the Turkish presidency said, amid renewed tensions between Turkey and Greece over the eastern Mediterranean.

In a statement, the presidency said Erdogan told Michel in a phone call that Turkey expected “concrete steps” from the EU on holding a regional conference with eastern Mediterranean states, and that Greece was “continuing steps to escalate tensions in the eastern Mediterranean despite Turkey’s well-intentioned approach”.

The phone call comes after a Turkish ship set sail to carry out seismic exploration in the eastern Mediterranean, prompting Greece to issue a furious new demand for EU sanctions on Ankara in a row over offshore exploration rights.

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