Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ address at the event “Enhancing Security and Stability in Europe and the Mediterranean” organised by the Royal United Services Institute.
“Today, we were able to make a small step towards that. We signed a framework Agreement between Greece and the United Kingdom. It provides the context within which bilateral cooperation can further flourish. In many fields, foreign policy, defence, trade, tourism, maritime affairs, culture, not to forget it. It constitutes an important pillar of Greece’s foreign policy. Our objectives are pretty straightforward. Promote peace, stability, create prosperity”
“Greece lies at the intersection of two regions that have seen the bloodiest and most brutal conflicts in the last 100 years: the Balkans, “Europe’s powder keg” and the Middle East.
Our aim is to ensure that the ghosts of the past will not return in these fragile regions. Call them Balkan ghosts, call them neo-Ottoman ghosts, call them Islamist ghosts, they are ghosts and still haunt us. And this is part of the world that can very very easily get entrapped by its own history. Unfortunately also, there are regional spoilers that attempt to revive those ghosts we were speaking about. One of them, for instance, threatens Greece with war if it exercises her sovereign rights. You all know that Turkey has issued since the late 90s a casus belli against Greece. By denying the inherent right of islands to have territorial waters beyond 6 miles, Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf”.
“We, Greece, have chosen a quite different route. We try to build partnerships, we build understandings in accordance with International Law. We have signed delimitation Agreements with Italy, with Egypt. We have arrived to a common understanding with Albania to defer this difference to the International Court of Justice. And, we also have arrangements. With France, as you were kind enough to mention. But also I have to say with the UAE, which was really a little less noticed than the agreement with France. Also, most recently we have deployed defensive missiles in Saudi Arabia, after an agreement in order to protect all installations”.