Turkey recalled an oil and gas exploration vessel from disputed eastern Mediterranean waters to allow for diplomacy with Greece, but Turkey’s work in the region is not finished, President Tayyip Erdogan said Sept. 18.

NATO members Turkey and Greece disagree over maritime jurisdiction and energy exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean and tensions flared in August when Turkey sent the Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel to waters also claimed by Greece.

On Sept. 13, Oruc Reis returned to port for what Ankara called routine maintenance, a move Greece said was a positive first step in easing tensions.

“Let’s give diplomacy a chance; let’s put forth a positive approach for diplomacy. Greece should also positively meet this approach of ours, and let’s take a step accordingly,” Erdogan said in Istanbul after Sept. 18 prayers. “This is why we did it.”

“But this does not mean that because Oruc Reis was pulled back for maintenance, our seismic activities will fully stop,” he told reporters. “Once the maintenance period is finished, Oruc Reis will go back to its operations again and continue its work there.”

Erdogan said he was ready to discuss the issue with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in person or via videoconference.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sept. 16 that maintenance work on Oruc Reis may take “a few weeks.”

Turkish and Greek officials have been holding talks at NATO to avoid military accidents, after a minor collision of warships last month. They have held four meetings but Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, in an interview with British broadcaster Channel 4, on Sept. 18 accused Greece of slowing down discussions by imposing pre-conditions.

European Union leaders will evaluate possible sanctions against Turkey at a summit on Sept. 24-25. Germany wants more time for talks with Turkey while France, Cyprus and Greece demand a punitive response.