Turkey reaffirms readiness for dialogue with Greece

Turkey reaffirms readiness for dialogue with Greece

ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
Turkey reaffirms readiness for dialogue with Greece

Turkey on Dec. 1 reaffirmed its readiness for dialogue with Greece following the return to port of a Turkish research vessel.

"As is known, Turkey has been in favor of dialogue without preconditions with Greece since the beginning," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy in a statement, responding to a question on possible dialogue with Greece after the ship Oruç Reis returned to port.

Telling how Ankara and Athens previously agreed to resume exploratory talks, Aksoy said the date of the talks remains undecided due to Greece "taking a step back” over the Oruç Reis issue.

"Our Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources announced that the Oruç Reis completed its activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and returned to Antalya on Nov. 29," Aksoy said.

He further reaffirmed Turkey's continued readiness for dialogue without preconditions.

Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected the maritime boundary claims of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that these excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.

In recent months Turkey has sent several drill ships to explore for energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting its own rights in the region, as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favor of resolving all outstanding problems in the region through international law, good neighborly relations, dialogue, and negotiation.