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Greece, Turkey affirm cooperation despite bilateral tensions

Europe
19.06.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Athens (dpa) - Turkish and Greek leaders on Monday affirmed their desire to work together despite several major issues that have divided the two sides in recent years.

The countries are in dispute over the extradition of Turks in Greece suspected of links to a failed coup last year, over the division of Cyprus, as well as a longstanding grievance over territorial rights in the Aegean Sea.

The two countries must work to overcome the Cyprus issue and the territorial dispute, said Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras after a meeting in the Greek capital.

In the extradition case, the Greek courts refused Ankara‘s request for eight people suspected of links to the failed coup in July last year. The suspects would not receive a fair trial in Turkey, the judges ruled. Their decision could not be ignored, Tsipras said.

Tsipras highlighted the two countries‘ cooperation as part of a deal struck between Turkey and the EU to halt the flow of refugees into Europe.

"The EU-Turkey deal has been implemented successfully. We now have far fewer victims in the Aegean," Tsipras said, referring to migrants who try to enter Europe by sea, often trying to cross from the Turkish mainland to nearby Greek islands.

The Turkish premier addressed cooperation against terrorism.

"Greece and Turkey must be the two pillars of the fight against terrorism in the eastern Mediterranean," Yildirim said.

 

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