The first meeting between Greek Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis and Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit in Montreux, Switzerland on Friday (10 March) was described as having been `conducted in a climate of mutual understanding'.
MONTREUX, SWITZERLAND (MARCH 10, 1978) (REUTERS)
GV PAN: Montreux Palace Hotel with Turkish,Swiss and Greek flags outside.
SV: Turkish Premier Bulent Ecevit entering and mobbed by press.
GV: Greek Prime Minister Conatantine Karamanlis entering and being mobbed by press.
SV: Mr Ecevit and Mr Karamanlia seated surrounded.
GV PAN: Mr Karamanlia and Mr Ecevit standing amidst press.
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Background: The first meeting between Greek Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis and Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit in Montreux, Switzerland on Friday (10 March) was described as having been `conducted in a climate of mutual understanding'. It was the first of two days of talks likely to be dominated by their countries' disputes over Cyprus and the Aegean seabed.
They met in the Montreux Palace Hotel in the Swiss resort. Mr Ecevit was believed to have worked out new proposals on Cyprus with Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in Ankar several days ago. Mr Ecevit was the Turkish leader who ordered troops into Cyprus in 1974.
Newsmen and cameramen gave mr Ecevit a lively welcome. After being returned to power earlier this year, he had suggested the summit to Mr Karamanlis. He was expected to press at the meeting for increased Turkish air, shipping and exploration rights in the Aegean Sea.
Mr Karamanlis arrives in the turmoil. Reports said he had agreed to the meeting only if there would be no fixed agenda. The general wording of the post-meeting statement was said to reflect his desire not to be seen discussing specific issues.
Greek sources said they thought Mr Ecevit might offer some concessions of Cyprus, such as reducing the territory that Turkish troops still copy on the island, in return for Greek concessions on air and sea traffic in the Aegean. Almost twenty years have passed since the previous summit between Greek and Turkish leaders. In the interval, the two countries have four times approached the threshold of war. This meeting takes place against a background of bitterness and distrust.