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Regional rivals talk Turkey and Greece as relations improve

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Regional rivals talk Turkey and Greece as relations improve
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Regional rivals Greece and Turkey have vowed to work towards resolving long-standing differences.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed his Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras to Istanbul to attend joint ministerial meetings.

Both leaders signed a raft of deals relating to health, tourism and migration.

Athens and Ankara remain at odds over divided Cyprus, Aegean Sea exploration and illegal immigration.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said relations were heading in the right direction:

“There are issues where we have our differences and the differences are important, but with the decisions we take, like today, we are trying to create a relationship of mutual respect and adopt a new way of relating to one another.”

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayipp Erdogan pointed to greater cooperation in the battle against terrorism.

“In terms of fighting against it, terrorism is everyone’s problem, our common issue, therefore our ministries will be in contact more often. From this point the relations between our interior and foreign ministers, police and security forces will be taken further and take steps towards preventing terrorism, “ he said.

Relations between the pair have improved radically since the 1990s with Greece now the fifth largest investor in Turkey. Turkish investment in Greece has also increased significantly.