Greece and Turkey promise to combat illegal immigration
Turkey promised on Friday to cooperate with its European Union neighbor Greece to combat the large wave of irregular immigrants making their way into Europe in exchange for Greece's help to ease visa rules for Turks, dpa reported
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the announcement following talks with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou on the sidelines of a Mediterranean climate change conference.
"We agreed to look at this issue seriously," Papandreou said following the two-hour meeting with Erdogan.
Greece has accused Turkey of failing to make a real effort to stop the large number of irregular immigrants that find their way into Greece and of ignoring an agreement to accept the return of detained immigrants.
"We decided to make our cooperation more effective and systematic in dealing with this problem," Papandreou added.
Both leaders also discussed the issue of opening up the visa process for Turkish citizens entering the European Union.
NATO allies Greece and Turkey have improved relations in recent years but still remain at adds over territorial rights in the Aegean Sea and the divided island of Cyprus