UPDATES WITH MORE DETAILS
By Berk Ozkan
ISTANBUL (AA) – The Turkish president and Italian prime minister discussed bilateral relations in a phone call, Turkish authorities said on Friday.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Giuseppe Conte discussed steps to improve relations between the two countries and regional developments, Turkey’s Communications Directorate said in a statement.
According to the statement, Erdogan said that Turkey values relations between Ankara and Rome, and when the coronavirus outbreak allows, both countries would like to hold a third intergovernmental summit in Turkey.
Thanking Italy for its support in the context of the European Union, which Italy is a member of, Erdogan said that he believed Rome would direct the EU to adopt a common sense, fair attitude in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Erdogan also said that Italy sees steps to cooperate with Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) – the country’s legitimate, UN-recognized government – as beneficial.
Turkey has decried efforts by Greece to turn its expansionary maritime territorial claims in the Eastern Mediterranean – contested by Turkey, the country with the longest coastline on the Eastern Mediterranean – into a dispute between Turkey and the bloc.
Turkey has stressed that dialogue can resolve the issue and find a fair resolution.
Both Turkey and Italy have historic ties with Libya in North Africa. Turkey has supported the legitimate, Tripoli-based government against the attacks of eastern-based warlord Khalifa Haftar.