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Originally published Monday, March 4, 2013 at 5:42 AM

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Turkey, Greece vow dialogue to overcome rifts

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says regional rivals Greece and Turkey are determined to overcome long-standing differences through dialogue and can resolve Cyprus's division if they show strong will.

The Associated Press

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ISTANBUL —

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says regional rivals Greece and Turkey are determined to overcome long-standing differences through dialogue and can resolve Cyprus's division if they show strong will.

Erdogan was speaking alongside his Greek counterpart, Antonis Samaras, following a joint ministerial council meeting Monday. Ministers from both countries signed more than two dozen cooperation deals, including in health, tourism and fighting illegal migration.

Relations between the uneasy NATO allies have improved greatly since the late 1990s, but Athens and Ankara remain at odds over a broad range of issues, including war-divided Cyprus, Aegean Sea boundaries, and illegal immigration.

Greece is the main transit point for illegal immigrants entering the European Union, and most cross into the country through Turkey.

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