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World News

Biden applauds NATO efforts to defuse tensions between Turkey, Greece

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden gestures as he speaks during an NBC News town hall event while campaigning for president in Miami, Florida, U.S., October 5, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday said he supports NATO efforts to defuse tensions between Greece and Turkey, and that agreements to establish a military deconfliction mechanism and resume diplomatic talks are steps in the right direction.

“The Trump administration must press Turkey to refrain from any further provocative actions in the region against Greece, including threats of force, to create the space for diplomacy to succeed,” Biden also said in a statement. “I also call on Turkish President Erdogan to reverse his recent decision to convert the Hagia Sophia to a mosque and to return this treasure to its former status as a museum, ensuring equal access for all, including the Orthodox faithful.”

(This story was refiled to add dropped word in first sentence)

Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Timothy Ahmann; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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