Balkans: March 7, 2000

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This story shows both how far the Greek-Turk rapprochement has come since the beginning of "earthquake diplomacy" -- and how far it still has to go. On March 2 Greece announced that one of its navy frigates would participate with Turkish forces in a naval exercise in April. Both Greece and Turkey reaffirmed Turkish interest in considering a Greek offer for the Turk Army to participate in exercises in Greece sometime in May. well and good. But five days later the deals are off. Why? Some of the Turk's military exercise material mentioned "the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (the Turk "statelet" in the Turk Army-occupied slice of Cyprus) as having its own airspace. The mention was too much for the Greeks. They withdrew their frigate. But neither the Greek nor Turk militaries are calling the shots in this political thaw. Are the exercises off? Stay tuned.

 

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