BERLIN

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Friday reiterated her call for dialogue between Turkey and Greece over the offshore energy exploration in Eastern Mediterranean.

“I made an effort to reduce tension. Sometimes this is only possible with both parties speaking over and over again,” said Merkel during her traditional annual summer news conference.

“The discussion regarding the distribution of economic zones can only be carried out together. Germany is making an effort for this,” she added.

“As EU member states, we all have a duty to take our Greek friends’ rights seriously and support them where they are right.”

Merkel said, she discussed the relations with Turkey “intensely” with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“These relationships are multifaceted. Turkey is a NATO ally. The dispute is between two NATO members. For this reason, these things within the alliance need to be clarified,” she said.

Responding to a question, Merkel said there is no scheduled phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today, but added they frequently talk.

COVID-19 and hard times

Regarding the pandemic, the chancellor said the coming months will be harder than today in terms of living with COVID-19.

“We have to expect that something will be even more difficult in the coming months than in summer,” said Merkel. She added Germany worked hard to keep healthcare system working and economy functioning since the beginning of the pandemic.

Merkel said her government will respond to new challenges by keeping economy alive and fostering social solidarity.

*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak

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