Mediterranean crisis:  Germany calls for dialogue between Turkey, Greece

Edited By: Palki Sharma WION
NEW DELHI Published: Aug 29, 2020, 12:13 AM(IST)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel after the virtual video-conference Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

US President Donald Trump held talks with both Greece Prime Minister-- Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

Experts around the world are trying to find a perfect answer to this question that will Greece and Turkey actively engage each other in the Mediterranean?

The NATO allies are fighting over energy hydrocarbon resources to be more specific. Greece and Turkey have disputes over maritime boundaries. There is also no consensus on offshore energy rights. The countries have sent warships into the Mediterranean.

Neither of them seems interested in taking a step back. Turkey has announced live drills in the eastern Mediterranean. It has also extended the seismic work of its research vessel, Oruc Reis, till September 1.

Greece, on the other hand, has been dialling all its allies. France, Italy, Greece and Cyprus are planning military exercises in the high waters. The US too has been dragged in.

US President Donald Trump held talks with both Greece Prime Minister-- Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

And the strongest country in the European Union, Germany is expected to back Greece against Turkey.

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, today in a press conference said that: "I believe that all of us as member states of the European Union must, of course, take Greece's rights and concerns very seriously, and support them when they are in the right. Nevertheless, I have always argued for the situation not to escalate further and to an extent that is only possible if we keep talking to both sides. I have had intensive conversations with the [French] President Macron about the relationship with Turkey, which is complex. Turkey is a NATO partner and this conflict is fundamentally between two NATO partners, which cannot leave us unmoved. For this reason, we must try to work things out within the alliance."

This is not the first time that the German Chancellor has shied from taking a stand against Turkey.

And the reason behind this is that Germany is home to more than 3 million people of Turkish origin. It is also Turkey's biggest trading partner.

Around 7,000 German companies operate in Turkey. The two countries have had a tensed past and they are now working towards improving bilateral ties.

In 2018, Merkel vowed to enhance cooperation with Turkey and it does not seem like Merkel wants to strain that. Leaders opposing Merkel have criticized her for not having a clear policy on Turkey.

She has proven them right by failing to back Greece in the Mediterranean. What her rhetorical stand has also done is --- once again raised questions on the European Union's clout.

Read in App