Greek PM Alexis Tsipras and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said they were in favor of the continuation of the implementation of a deal regarding refugees signed between the European Union and Turkey, in a meeting held in New York on Wednesday, Kathimerini’s Tom Ellis reported.
During the meeting, Tsipras said Greece was in favor of Turkey receiving financial aid from Europe for taking back refugees and supported visa-free travel for Turkish citizens provided Turkey complied with the 72 conditions set by the EU.
At the meeting, Erdogan requested the extradition of 8 Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece after a failed coup in Turkey in July. Tsipras informed the Turkish president that three of the soldiers' asylum applications had been rejected by a Greek court on Wednesday and added that the case was being treated in accordance with international law.
Tsipras assured Erdogan that anyone implicated in a coup was not welcome in Greece and reminded Erdogan that Greece was among the first countries to publicly express their support to Turkey’s elected government, a move that Erdogan also acknowledged.
The two leaders also agreed on the promotion of railway project linking Thessaloniki and Istanbul as well as ferry services between Thessaloniki and Izmir.
The Cyprus issue was another major topic of discussion, with Tsipras reiterating Greece's position that a basic parameter for a solution on the divided island was the safety of all residents as well as the withdrawal of Turkish forces. While progress had been recorded, major issues remained, both leaders agreed.