Greek-Turkish rivalry takes centre stage at Balkans summit

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Leaders of the Balkan countries arrived on Crete for a summit aimed at building economic co-operation but dominated by expected talks between long-time rivals. The Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, whose country is undergoing a period of increasing tension with the Greek hosts, was among the first to arrive.

Yilmaz is expected to hold bilateral meetings with the Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis today. Relations between Greece and Turkey have deteriorated in recent weeks. Athens has accused Turkey of numerous military violations of its airspace, coinciding with joint Greece-Cyprus war games.

Mr Yilmaz was followed by the Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano and the Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, leaders of neighbouring countries at odds over the ethnically flammable region of Kosovo.