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todayonline - 23 days ago

Greece says wants positive agenda with Turkey after ministers spat

ATHENS - Greece s centre-right government said on Friday it wanted a positive agenda with Turkey despite differences, a day after Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias clashed with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu at a news conference in Ankara. The statement from the foreign ministry appeared aimed at easing the atmosphere after an ill-tempered exchange between the two ministers laid bare the deep differences between Athens and Ankara over issues ranging from maritime zones and energy to the status of Cyprus. There is a clear will of (Prime Minister Kyriakos) Mitsotakis government to promote a positive agenda, the foreign ministry said in a statement, adding that Greece was interested in a range of cooperation, especially in the economic sector. There were and there are differences, the statement said, adding that Greece was committed to upholding international law. The statement followed an unusually open spat on Thursday, with both ministers trading accusations as they stood side by side at a media briefing during Dendias visit to Ankara. The two countries are allies in NATO but at odds over many issues, from competing claims over the extent of their continental shelves in the Mediterranean to air space, energy resources, ethnically split Cyprus, and the status of some islands in the Aegean. Tensions flared last summer when Turkey sent a drilling ship to contested Mediterranean waters, but have eased slightly after Ankara withdrew the vessel and the countries resumed bilateral talks over their disputes following a five-year hiatus. REUTERS


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