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Turkish-Greek relations improving

Feb. 2, 2010 at 12:30 PM   |   Comments

ANKARA, Turkey, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Turkey and Greece might end their decades-long dispute soon with beefed-up diplomatic contacts planned for this month.

Diplomats from both nations, entangled in a decades-long dispute over sea boundaries, will meet in Turkey's capital Ankara later this month, Turkish English-language newspaper Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review reports.

"Diplomats from the Turkish and Greek foreign ministries will discuss everything, including upcoming high-level visits as well as the correspondence between the prime ministers," a spokesman of the Greek Embassy told the newspaper.

The foreign minister of Greece, Dimitri Droutsas, will travel to Ankara this month before Turkish Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to visit Athens in late spring.

Relations between both countries have been improving since the victory of the Greek Socialists led by Prime Minister George Papandreou in the country's October 2009 elections.

Shortly after the vote, Papandreou and Erdogan exchanged letters in which they both agreed to revive and accelerate talks over the Aegean Sea conflict.

Ankara rejects the sea borders the United Nations has drawn in the Aegean Sea, waters that are dotted with several Greek islands, some of them very close to the Turkish coastline. Turkey contests that some of the waters officials have deemed international belong to Turkey.

The conflict has affected relations between Greece and Turkey, two NATO allies, for many decades.

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