Greek defence minister to visit earthquake-hit regions in Turkey

Ibrahim Kurt helps salvage belongings from a collapsed home in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake in Nurdagi, Turkey, March 5, 2023. REUTERS/Susana Vera

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos will visit parts of neighbouring Turkey hit by a recent earthquake when he travels to meet his counterpart on April 4, amid longstanding rivalry between the two NATO countries.

He is the second Greek minister to make an official visit after February's devastating quake killed tens of thousands in southern Turkey.

"We will visit the earthquake affected areas in southeast Turkey," Panagiotopoulos told the Mega TV channel in an interview late on Thursday.

Greece was one of the first countries to send rescue workers to help pull survivors from the rubble. Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had visited earthquake-stricken areas in February, in a gesture of solidarity.

The two NATO allies and neighbours are at odds over a host of issues ranging from mineral rights in the Aegean to airspace, and over ethnically split Cyprus.

(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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