June 19, 2017 / 11:26 AM / in a month

Turkey respects Greece's decision not to extradite soldiers over coup, PM says

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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (R) meets with his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece June 19, 2017.Costas Baltas

ATHENS (Reuters) - Turkey respects Greece's decision not to extradite eight soldiers who fled to Greece after last July's attempted coup, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Monday.

"We would like Greece to extradite those who clearly staged a coup against our nation. We respect the judiciary's decision, but we do not want these putschists to strike a blow to Turkish-Greek relations," Yildirim said at a joint news conference with his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras in Athens.

In May, a Greek court blocked a second extradition request by Turkey for the final two soldiers among a group of eight who fled to Greece following the coup attempt, drawing an angry rebuke from Ankara.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Daren Butler

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