Ankara, Turkey – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. During the meeting, President Erdogan said he expected a common sense and constructive attitude to Macron regarding tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

According to the presidential statement, at the request of French President Macron, the meeting discussed Turkey-France and Turkey-EU relations and regional developments, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean.

During the meeting, President Erdogan noted that the reason for the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean is the disregard of the legitimate rights of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots in the region, noting that France cannot understand the support of maximalist claims and steps by Greece and Greek Cypriots that have escalated tensions.

President Erdogan, who stressed that Turkey does not have an eye for anyone, but will not feed its own rights to anyone, said that, as always, today they advocate dialogue and cooperation to solve problems.

In order to lower blood pressure, diplomatic opportunities must be evaluated and sustainable negotiation processes must be implemented, President Erdogan said, adding that they want to talk and solve all problems at the table.

In this process, President Erdogan said that he expected a common sense and constructive attitude from France, noting that he saw the benefit of constantly operating the consultation and communication mechanism between Turkey and France.

Erdogan said that the emergence of an approach that encourages constructive dialogue and cooperation with Turkey from the EU leaders ‘ summit is also important for the opportunities for solving regional issues.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and France’s Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday they had held their first conversation in months following a standoff between the two NATO allies over mounting tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

In a statement after a call between the two leaders, the Turkish presidency said Erdogan emphasized the need for using diplomatic opportunities to de-escalate the situation and achieve sustainable negotiations.

The French foreign ministry said following the call, which lasted over an hour, that it hoped a dialogue between Turkey and Greece could continue, and said Macron had called for a similar approach with the GCA.

“He (Macron) urged Turkey to fully respect the sovereignty of European Union member states as well as international law, and to refrain from any further unilateral action which could provoke tensions,” the French foreign office said, adding that Macron and Erdogan had agreed to keep in contact.

Relations between the EU and Turkey are badly strained on a number of issues, including exploration for hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean, where Ankara has been at loggerheads with EU member states the GCA and Greece.