Greek foreign minister clashes with Turkish counterpart at news conference

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Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu meets with his Greek counterpart Dendias in Ankara

ANKARA (Reuters) - Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias clashed with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday at a joint news conference in Ankara that began with hopes of improved relations but quickly descended into acrimonious accusations from both sides.

Seeking to ease months of tensions over territorial disputes in the Mediterranean, Dendias expressed support for Turkey's bid to join the European Union but said any violations of Greece's sovereignty would be sanctioned.

His comments prompted an angry response from Cavusoglu who described them as "unacceptable", prompting Dendias to say he was surprised Cavusoglu had not expected him to act as if nothing had happened in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean.

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos in Athens; Editing by Alison Williams)