Asked about the crisis between Greece and Turkey, she said: “I believe that it is our duty as EU member states to support the rights of our Greek friends”.
For the first time, Angela Merkel used such phrasing in favor of Greece, sending a clear message to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
He added, however, that it is essential that the two sides (i.e. Greece and Turkey) continue the dialogue.
“We support Greece and do not believe that there should be a further escalation in its relations with Turkey”, Merkel said. She noted that when she talks to the Turkish president she will inform him about Europe’s stance.
“Our relationship with Turkey is different. I talk to Mr. Erdogan often and I will let you know”, she said.
“Nevertheless, I have repeatedly tried to prevent a further escalation and this is partly done by constantly talking to both sides. The differences that exist there regarding the economic zones can only be addressed together. That is what Germany is trying to do”, the Chancellor added.
Regarding the consultation with the President of France Emmanuel Macron on the issue, Mrs. Merkel stressed that she spoke with him very intensively about the relations with Turkey: “Turkey is a partner in NATO. The conflict between two NATO partners can not leave us indifferent, but for this reason, one must try to clarify things within the framework of the Alliance”.