Greece, Turkey withdraw ships from Imia but Cyprus stalemate remains

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Turkey has urged Greece to refrain from tensions between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies after two vessels from the neighbouring countries collided in the Aegean Sea.

Seeking global support, prime minister Alexis Tsipras underlined that Greece's border was also that of the 28-nation European Union, and his foreign minister briefed the head of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the USA military chief on Turkey's "provocative behaviour". "Greece will not allow, accept or tolerate any challenge to its territorial integrity and its sovereign rights", Mr Tsipras told an audience at the shipping ministry.

"Including our ambitious energy agenda, where coordination with Ambassadors from Baku to Belgrade is intrinsic to our strategy", the statement explained highlighting that "Contrary to press reports, he will not be meeting with Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu".

"Recently, there have been some violations during this tension, which started with the Kardak rocks, to which we gave a response", Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım told reporters on Wednesday (February 14).

Turkey and Greece, NATO allies, have been at odds over a host of issues from ethnically split Cyprus to sovereignty over airspace and overflights.

"We want to do our utmost to avoid real problems and the escalation of conflict and tension between them", he said. "It has full responsibility".

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