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Mitsotakis, Erdogan agree to stem migrant flows in Aegean

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Greece and Turkey agreed to cooperate to limit the number of migrants reaching the islands of the eastern Aegean during Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' first informal meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York on Wednesday.

The meeting comes at a time of increased Turkish activity in the Eastern Mediterranean and in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and a rise in migratory flows.

The two leaders agreed to prepare for a new High-Level Cooperation Council (HLCC), which will be prepared by the foreign ministers.

Mitsotakis expressed his support for a proposal by Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to ensure a fair distribution between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities of any proceeds gained from natural gas exploration.

The prime minister raised the issue of the reopening of the Halki Theological Seminary, which was shut down by a Turkish court in 1971 under a law curbing non-state religious education.

On his side, Erdogan raised the issue of the rights of the Muslim minority in northern Greece and of the state of two Ottoman monuments in Athens and Thessaloniki.

The two leaders pledged to work closely to build a climate of trust for the benefit of regional stability.

The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, government spokesman Stelios Petsas, while the Turkish delegation included Foreign and Defense Ministers Mevlut Cavusoglu and Hulusi Akar, respectively.