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President Erdogan Making Historic Visit To Greece

President Erdoğan will be the first sitting Turkish president to visit Greece in more than six decades when he travels to Athens next week in a move that will likely boost the checkered history of relations.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is beginning a visit to Greece on December 7.

Ahead of Erdogan’s arrival, Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said Erdogan’s visit was “of exceptionally great significance and importance,” and that Athens was looking forward to “exceptionally constructive discussions.”

But Tzanakopoulos also said the Greek government was “worried” about the revival of a territorial dispute demonstrated by Erdogan’s call for “improvements” to how airspace and waters are delineated in the Aegean Sea.

In Ankara, Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told reporters that Turkey hoped the visit would “develop and deepen” ties. He noted that both countries “have shouldered great responsibilities in resolving the issue” of migration.

The talks were expected to focus on the refugee crisis. Greek islands in the Aegean Sea have been the gateway into the European Union for migrants crossing from the Turkish coast.

Also on the agenda are regional relations, energy and business deals, Ankara’s stalled bid to join the EU, and longstanding disputes over competing territorial claims in the Aegean Sea.


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