Greek foreign minister Nikos Dendias has told his Turkish counterpart that it intends to support Turkey’s candidate in the race for the leadership of the International Maritime Organization, according to reports.

Dendias met Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Brussels on Monday and said Greece would support the nomination of Suat Hayri Aka at the election that takes place at the United Nations’ maritime safety and environment agency in London in June.

Greek television reported that it is part of a diplomatic horse-trading deal, in which Turkey will support a bid by Greece to become one of the non-permanent rotating members of the UN Security Council.

Turkey has nominated Suat Hayri Aka, who is its representative at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and a former under-secretary for maritime affairs in Turkey’s ministry of transport.

Although Turkey and Greece are historic rivals in the east Mediterranean regions — and remain in dispute over Cyprus — there has been a rapprochement after the recent devastating earthquake in southern Turkey and Syria, which is estimated to have killed over 50,000 people.

Two weeks ago, TradeWinds broke the news that the former Cypriot shipping minister, Vassilios Demetriades, was considering making a late entry to the race to succeed South Korea’s Kitack Lim as secretary general of the IMO, a pivotal position in global shipping regulation.

No final decision has yet emerged, with observers suggesting the likelihood of him standing as a candidate from the European Union are fading.

Leading the field so far is Arsenio Dominguez, the experienced Panamanian diplomat and IMO negotiator, and Nancy Karigithu, principal secretary for shipping and maritime in Kenya.

Bangladesh is nominating Moin Ahmed, who is the director general of the International Mobile Satellite Organisation, while former World Maritime University president Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry from Dominica is also standing.