Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday afternoon in New York, with the ongoing refugee crisis topping the brief contacts, which were held on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly.
According to sources from the Greek prime minister’s side, both leaders referred to the need to fully support the EU-Turkey agreement on the readmission of Mideast refugees back to Turkey and their subsequent relocation to European countries from there.
The same sources said Athens is positive vis-a-vis the prospect of a visa waiver, long coveted by Ankara, for Turkish citizens travelling to the EU, under the condition that all criteria set out by the Union is fulfilled. Tsipras also reportedly reiterated Athens’ support for Turkey's EU accession course based on a set “road map”.
Tsipras, on his part, also referred to last July’s coup attempt in Turkey, reminding of Athens’ condemnation of the action from the beginning, while stressing that “democracy and stability are extremely important.”
Erdogan reportedly brought up the issue of eight military officers that have requested asylum in Greece, with the Greek prime minister saying this issue involves international law concerning the granting of asylum, i.e. it is not a political or bilateral matter.
Nevertheless, Tsipras told Erdogan, again according to sources and without referring specifically to the eight Turkish nationals that requested asylum, that those involved in the coup attempt are not welcome in Greece.