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Greek Gov’t and opposition reject Turkey’s “exchange of soldiers”

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday ruled out any trade off with Turkey for the release of two Greek soldiers held by Ankara, and said its NATO ally appeared to be losing sight of moving closer to Europe.

“Turkey looks like a country … at risk of losing its orientation and moving away from its European targets,” Tsipras said.

Speaking to the parliamentary group of his party SYRIZA, Tsipras said he welcomed comments by President Tayyip Erdogan on the ‘need and value’ of peaceful relations with Greece.

However, he stressed that “we expect the release of the Greek soldiers according to the principles of a state of law and we reject unacceptable preconditions” like the exchange..

Leader of major opposition party, conservative New Democracy, Kyriakos Mitsotakis called on Turkey to immediately release the Greek soldiers who are “illegally detained without charges.”  H underlined that Greece would not engage in any kind of exchange with the Turkish soldiers.

In an interview late on Saturday, Erdogan called on peace with Greece saying he does not want any more tensions. However, the President’s message was tricky. Not only did he officially put the exchange of Greek soldiers with the Turkish servicemen on the table. He called on Greece to make concessions in the Aegean sea.


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