The decision to return a Turkish oil and gas exploration ship to port illustrates Ankara’s willingness to negotiate with Athens to resolve mutual claims over the Eastern Mediterranean, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed.

The Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel returned to port last week. Although Ankara claimed that the ship needed routine maintenance, Erdogan said on Friday that the suspension of exploration activities in the disputed Eastern Mediterranean would help promote diplomacy with Turkey’s longtime rival. (RT)