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Saturday, 13 July, 2002, 15:52 GMT 16:52 UK
Greece welcomes new Turkish FM

Athens says it hopes the improvement in its ties with Ankara will continue after the appointment of a new Turkish Foreign Minister, Sukur Sina Gurel.

Mr Gurel's Greek counterpart, Georges Papandreou, said better ties between the countries were important for the regions stability.

Greece and Turkey have been at odds for decades over territorial issues in the Aegean and the divided Island of Cyprus.

Correspondents say Mr Gurel has been described as being more hardline than his predecessor on Cyprus and Turkey's bid to enter the European Union.

But Mr Gurel has said that Turkey was not considering changing its foreign policy. Mr Gurel was appointed foreign minster to replace Ismail Cem who resigned from the Turkish Government on Thursday.

Mr Cem and Mr Papandreou have been credited for a thawing of relations in the past three years.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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