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At a joint news conference at the Kremlin, the two leaders said that their discussion had focused on economic issues, including trade and tourism. They also said they talked about energy issues and Russia’s plans to build a natural gas pipeline through Turkey to Europe, in which Greece could play a crucial link.

An attempt by Greece to shift the country’s debt narrative away from austerity ran into a wall of inflexibility during a two-day trip to Germany. German officials here on Thursday, like European Central Bank officials the day before in Frankfurt, offered no sign that they considered the recent change of government in Greece to be an opportunity for a fresh start.

The Iranian cultural attaché in Athens, Mohammad-Hossein Mozaffari, said that Iran plans to honor Iranian and Greek scholars promoting cultural and scientific relations between Iran and Greece.

In a joint declaration issued by the two countries after the council's meeting, the prime ministers highlighted the role of mutual trust and friendly relations in economic development, peace, stability and prosperity in the region. Trade, energy and tourism were designated as strategic for both countries' interests.

Greek shares suffered their worst hammering in nearly three decades Tuesday, on concerns the country is heading for a political crisis that could jeopardize its vital bailout program.

The Games are at a crossroads and a historic meeting is being held this week in Monte Carlo to map a viable future.

The program has been so successful, in fact, that it’s inspired spin-offs among other cultural groups. The idea that young people of a certain heritage should visit their ancestral homeland — the “birthright” behind the name of the Israel program — is not exclusive to the Jewish diaspora, and that’s the thinking behind programs following in Birthright’s footsteps.

Social and cultural exchanges across the Aegean Sea are bridging the gap between Greece and Turkey.  A recent joint project by two photography groups was the latest in a decades-long series of cultural collaborations that experts say are important for providing political leaders with the impetus to resolve differences.

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