Greece sees thawing of relations with Turkey - Greek Reporter

Greek officials point to improvement in relations with neighbouring Turkey in recent weeks as confirmed by the meeting between Alexis Tsipras and Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New York on Wednesday, the Greek Reporter website reported.

Relations between two countries have been strained in recent months over natural gas resources in east Mediterranean;  Greece’s refusal to extradite eight Turkish soldiers accused of participating the coup attempt in Turkey in 2016; the arrest of two Greek soldiers by Turkish authorities in March after they crossed the border in bad weather, as well as the historical dispute on the island of Cyprus.

The meeting of the two leaders on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, was conducted in a “better climate” than their previous encounter at the NATO Summit, the Greek Reporter said, citing a high-ranking Greek government official.

 The Turkish president referred to the case of the eight Turkish soldiers granted asylum in Greece during the meeting while officially inviting his counterpart Tsipras to Istanbul, it quoted the source as saying.

The Greek official stressed that new talks between the two sides “should not start from scratch”, but from where they ended in Switzerland in 2017, where representatives from the divided island of Cyprus, and from UK, Turkey and Greece met.