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Greece Wants To Keep Open Channel To Turkey - PM

PARIS, France - Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday he wanted to keep an open channel of communication with Turkey despite sharp rhetoric which ha heightened tensions between the two neighbours.

The countries, which are partners in NATO, are at odds over a number of issues from maritime and airspace boundaries to potential energy sources in the Mediterranean, and ethically - split Cyprus.

Tensions recently resurfaces, with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan saying Greece should stop arming islands in the Aegean Sea which should have a demilitarised status under international treaties. Greece dismisses Turkey's assertions as unfounded.

Mitsotakis, who was speaking in Cyprus, said international law was on Greece's side.

'We will set aside any rhetoric which deviates from the rules of good diplomatic practice', he said during a meeting with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia.

'I believe that this approach is the correct one and that we will quickly come back to calmer waters, always keeping open channels of communication. It is my view and always has been that even at the most difficult times they should never close', Mitsotakis said.

Erdogan has halted bilateral talks in a dispute over airspace violations and a perceived slight from Mitsotakis, whom he has accused of trying to block sales of F - 16 fighter jets to Turkey when the Greek Prime Minister visited Washington in May.



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