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Turkey’s Soylu hands Greece four demands as he sets up new dialogue channel


In an attempt to turn a page in increasingly frosty relations, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has set up a new channel for dialogue with neighbouring Greece. Soylu, however, issued four demands to Greece’s Minister of Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi when they met in Ankara on Tuesday, Greek and Turkish sources told Middle East Eye.

Turkey and Greece have been trying to resolve their bilateral disputes through diplomatic means after Turkish and Greek navy ships collided last year in the eastern Mediterranean, where the two countries have overlapping claims of territorial waters and exclusive economic zones.

Yet the talks have resolved little, with Ankara continuing to accuse Greece of pushing aslyum seekers back across the Aegean Sea.

According to the sources, by inviting Mitarachi to the Turkish capital, Soylu wanted to open a new set of contacts to directly discuss the practical issues that occur on a daily basis.

Soylu made four demands from the Greek authorities, the sources said. Firstly: ending the pushbacks of migrants from Greece to Turkey.

Read more: Middle East Eye