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Biden applauds NATO efforts to defuse tensions between Turkey, Greece

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden greets members of his staff and the press as he exits his campaign plane after campaigning in Miami, at New Castle Airport in New Castle, Delaware, U.S., October 6, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic Presidential 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.”

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