The Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers, in Brussels for the NATO Ministerial Council, have had their first meeting since the Greek general election last month.
The Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers, in Brussels for the NATO Ministerial Council, have had their first meeting since the Greek general election last month. On the agenda for their meeting on Friday (9 December) was the dispute over Cyprus and the Aegean which has strained relations between the two countries.
SYNOPSIS: The Greek Foreign Minister, Mr Panayotis Papaligouras brought his delegation to meet his Turkish counterpart after separate talks with the United States Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance. The Americans have urged an early start to talks between Greece and Turkey. And the NATO meeting also referred to the need for a solution to the dispute which has weakened the southern flank of the alliance.
The Turkish Foreign Minister Mr Ihsan Sabri Caglayangil had also seen Mr Vance. The Turks have recently hinted at the possibility of more flexibility over the issue of Cyprus, but so far there has been no public response from the Greeks. At the NATO meeting, the British Foreign Secretary also urged both sides to settle their differences.
The other dispute is over the rights to oil exploration around the Greek islands in the Aegean off the Turkish coast. The two countries last discussed this in June. After the Brussels meeting both Foreign Ministers agreed to hold further talks soon.