Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agree to de-escalate tensions and solve all disputes "peacefully," during talks in Ankara.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Ankara, Turkey, February 5, 2019.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Ankara, Turkey, February 5, 2019. (Reuters)

Greece does not welcome people who were part of an attempted 2016 coup in Turkey, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday. 

"Coup plotters are not welcome in Greece, however, what is more important is to strengthen our cooperation on the sector of security," Tsipras said during a joint press conference with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara. 

Tsipras said that Greece and Turkey have agreed to de-escalate any tensions in the Aegean Sea and proceed with confidence building measures, while any differences with Turkey "can and must be solved with dialogue."

The Greek prime minister, who is on a two-day visit to Turkey, said his country "will not be doomed to" regional problems and it tries to find solutions through dialogue with its neighbor.

Turkey has been pushing for repatriation of eight of its soldiers who fled to Greece following the coup attempt and were subsequently granted asylum there. 

Disputes can be resolved 'peacefully'

Earlier, Erdogan said Greece should not turn into a safe haven for FETO, PKK and leftist terror groups and demanded repatriation of soldiers with links to the 2016 defeated coup.

Turkey's president said disputes between Turkey and Greece could be resolved "peacefully" through dialogue.

"We, as Turkey, believe all the problems with Greece could be resolved peacefully," Erdogan said at a joint press conference.

"Our [Turkey’s] expectation from Greece is that it doesn't become a safe haven where FETO [Fetullah Terrorist Organization], PKK, DHKP-C terrorists take refuge," he added.

Ankara says FETO and its US-based leader, Fetullah Gulen, orchestrated the attempted overthrow of government on July 15, 2016, which left 251 people dead and nearly 2,200 wounded. 

March 18 migrant deal

On the refugee deal signed between Turkey and EU in March 2016, Erdogan said the EU did not practice visa liberalisation and the immigrant agreement, urging the bloc to be loyal to its promises.

The 2016 deal aims to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of more than three million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

It also allowed for the acceleration of Turkey's EU membership bid and visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies