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Erdogan, in Greece, says border treaty unclear

Erdogan, in Greece, says border treaty unclear”

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (not pictured) and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attend a press conference following their meeting at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece December 7, 2017. "But in the past, we were nations that lived one within the other". We have to build the future on stronger ground.

Earlier, he and Erdogan turned what was expected to be a staid welcoming ceremony into an unprecedented bout of diplomatic sparring over a host of differences.

He said Muslims in the Greek border region of Western Thrace were not able to choose their own chief mufti, while Christian communities in Turkey enjoyed greater freedom to choose their patriarchs, suggesting the 1923 Lausanne treaty was not being applied fairly.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Thursday that the treaty defining border relations between Greece and Turkey should be trashed, the Guardian reported.

"In fact, all agreements (pacts) in the world should be updated with the passage of time", Erdogan said in the interview. There are some details in the Treaty of Lausanne, which are not properly understood.

"They (Greeks) should rest assured that the negative relations between Greece and Turkey are part of history", Erdogan said.

The Greek Supreme Court has blocked the extradition of the officers, and Erdogan lamented that taking the legal route "takes longer".

Furthermore, any dispute can only be solved peacefully and on the basis of International Law, Pavlopoulos said. "It has no flaws, it does not need to be reviewed or updated", he said. He added the treaty didn't allow space for territorial disputes and clearly set out the status for Greece's Muslim minority. It was also supposed to protect the Turkish minority in northern Greece, whom Erdogan said were still discriminated against.

Erdogan responded by saying it was a treaty signed 94 years ago and did not apply only to Greece or Turkey but also included countries such as Japan.

But another more recent bone of contention is Greece's failure to extradite eight Turkish officers who fled to its territory previous year after allegedly participating in the attempted coup against Erdogan. "He is now doing his best to make sure that the next visit will not take place in the next 150 years", said Wolfango Piccoli, Co-President of Teneo Intelligence.

"The necessary support is not being provided to them in terms of investments. and there is discrimination going on", Erdogan said.

"There have always been differences between our countries and the positions of each country are well known", Mr Tsipras told Mr Erdogan. The Greek government, he said, had moved ahead with the reconstruction of a series of mosques around the country.

Athens is unhappy over Turkey's upkeep of Byzantine heritage in Istanbul, the former Constantinople, including the Hagia Sophia, which is officially a museum but has seen an uptick in Muslim worship in the last few years.

The two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners teetered on the verge of war in 1974, 1987 and 1996 over long-running disputes on ethnically divided Cyprus, mineral rights in the Aegean Sea and sovereignty over uninhabited islets in that sea.

It rejoined in 1980.

"If you leave it up to the judiciary there will be no result", he said. Regional relations, energy and business ties, Turkey's stalled bid to join the European Union and longstanding differences such as territorial disputes in the Aegean Sea separating the two countries are also likely to be discussed.



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