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Turkey hopes for better relations with Greece after elections

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Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy on Monday congratulated Greece’s main opposition leader, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, for his victory in Sunday’s general election, voicing hope for enhanced bilateral ties, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Relations between Ankara and Athens have recently been strained due to military aggression on both sides in the Aegean Sea and natural gas drilling activities off Cyprus.

“We congratulate the New Democracy leader Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who has won the snap general elections held in Greece yesterday (July 7) and has been entitled to form the Government,” Aksoy said in a statement.

The New Democracy (ND) party led by Mitsotakis scored a clear victory in snap general elections on Sunday, according to an unofficial count released by the country’s Interior Ministry.

The center-right ND garnered 40 percent of the vote, thus claiming 158 seats in the 300-member Greek parliament.

“With the establishment of the Government under the leadership of Mr. Mitsotakis, we hope that our bilateral relations will be further enhanced on the basis of the friendship between Turkish-Greek peoples.

“To this end, we want to swiftly revitalize existing dialogue channels and start our contacts as soon as possible to address issues on our agenda,” Aksoy said.

The snap elections became necessary after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras requested the dissolution of parliament following the ruling party’s poor performance in European Union elections held in May. His party finished second, the runner-up to the ND.

Mitsotakis, 51, the son of former Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis, will take over as the new premier on Monday after a handover ceremony to be held in the prime minister’s office around noon.

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