Around the World on 18 April 2021
Turkey-Greece love-in doesn’t go to plan: Reconciliation talks between Turkey and Greece in Ankara didn’t get off to a great start on Thursday as a press conference between the two countries’ foreign ministers degenerated into an argument over sovereignty and regional interests (watch, runtime: 2:25). The talks between the feuding neighbours initially seemed positive, with the two ministers agreeing to strengthen economic cooperation and continue talks in Geneva later this month. But things soon took a turn for the worst as the ministers fired shots over Greece’s minority Turkish population, disputed territory in the EastMed, and Turkey’s recent conversion of the Hagia Sophia to a mosque, Bloomberg reports.
Iran sounds optimism on nuclear talks: Talks in Vienna aimed at saving the Iran nuclear pact made progress last week, with Iran claiming that it is working on a “new understanding” with the US and global powers, Bloomberg reports. The Islamic Republic is working on a new draft text for restoring the 2015 agreement ahead of a resumption of talks today, the country’s lead negotiator said, cautioning that major disagreements remain. An apparent cyberattack on an Iranian nuclear facility last week threatened to collapse the talks, which aim to get the US to reenter the accord and Iran to get back into compliance.
Moscow and Washington in tit-for-tat sanctions: The Biden administration has banned US financial institutions from holding ruble-denominated bonds and expelled 10 Russian diplomats to punish Moscow for allegedly being behind the SolarWinds hack and interfering in US elections, the State Department said Thursday. Russia has responded in kind, saying Friday that as many as 10 US diplomats would be forced to leave the US Embassy in Moscow.