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Old Enemies Come Together for Joint Peace Mission to Mideast


The foreign ministers of old enemies Greece and Turkey are on a joint mission Thursday to the Middle East to appeal for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart, Ismail Cem, are urging Israelis and Palestinians to end their violence.

The two ministers met with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat Thursday and appealed to him to publicly denounce Palestinian terrorism against Israelis.

The meeting took place in Mr. Arafat's besieged headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where he remains surrounded by Israeli troops.

The Greek and Turkish foreign ministers then traveled to Jerusalem, where they held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

The ministers urged Mr. Sharon to peacefully resolve the siege around Mr. Arafat's office as well as the siege around the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

Israeli soldiers remain stationed in both places in the hope of capturing wanted Palestinians.

Historically bitter enemies, Greece and Turkey remain at odds over ownership of islands in the Aegean Sea and the continuing partition of Cyprus, which is divided into Greek and Turkish sectors.

By coming personally to the Mideast, the ministers appear intent on showing Israelis and Palestinians that it is possible for two long-time enemies to resolve their differences through peaceful negotiations.

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