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    Greece offers Turkey ‘olive branch’: foreign minister

    Greece has offered an olive branch to Turkey, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said Thursday.

    “Prime Minister [Kyriakos Mitsotakis] has offered an olive branch to Turkey. It is obviously according to the respect for international law and agreements,” Dendias told local TV channel SKAI.

    He was referring to Mitsotakis’ remarks at a General Assembly meeting last week, in which he said: “I call on [Turkish President Recep] Tayyip Erdogan for a mutual approach in which we will take brave steps.”

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    Recalling that the two countries have deep-rooted ties, Dendias said Athens would meet Ankara in the current “international context”.

    He noted that Greece’s stance on the Cyprus issue is obvious and they have put it forward at the European Union (EU) level.

    Dendias also said there are no meetings with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on the agenda “for now”.

    Turkish-Greek ties have been at odds especially due to recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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    Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to resources in the area.

    Since this spring, Ankara has sent two drilling vessels — Fatih and most recently Yavuz — to the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting the rights of Turkey and the TRNC over the resources of the region.

    Athens and Greek Cypriots have opposed the move, threatening to arrest the ships’ crews and enlisting EU leaders to join their criticism.

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