Ankara, Turkey – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a video conference call with the president of the European Union (EU) Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

According to a written statement from the communication presidency, the meeting discussed regional issues, especially the Eastern Mediterranean, and Turkey-EU relations. At the meeting, President Erdogan noted that at the heart of the Eastern Mediterranean issue is the maximalist claims of Greece and the Greek part, as well as the desire to ignore the rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.

Erdogan said that Turkey, which has been in favor of dialogue since the beginning to solve problems, is ready for exploratory talks with Greece, and wished that the opportunity granted to diplomacy should not be wasted again by Greece as before. President Erdogan said the steps to be taken to renew the March 18 agreement between Turkey and the EU, update the customs union and ensure visa liberalisation would provide a solid basis for improving relations.

Reiterating his call for fair burden and responsibility sharing on migrants, he said the EU must address violations by Greece and the European border and Coastguard Agency (Frontex) with pushback practices.