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Greece'Our great goal is to resolve our core issue with Turkiye, based...

‘Our great goal is to resolve our core issue with Turkiye, based on international law’

Hellenic News of America
Hellenic News of America
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Yesterday’s meeting with with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the NATO Summit sidelines in Vilnius “was an opportunity for a restart in Greek-Turkish relations following four difficult years,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an interview on Skai TV on Thursday evening.

“It confirmed my view that Turkiye appears to be ready for a change in direction in its external policy. This could only benefit Greece from such a change. Wheneve needed, we defended our sovereignty and our sovereign rights, but it is better to live like friends. I would hope that this policy will be marked by continuity, consistency, and duration,” Mitsotakis added.

The Greek PM reiterated that the delimitation of marine zones is the only big outstanding issue between the two countries, while the management of the migration issue is a great challenge, or even an opportunity.

Explaining, Mitsotakis said, “My goal is that we enter into the heart of our basic issue, as long as we manage to reach agreement to resort to The Hague; it is not a simple issue. In any case, even if we do not manage to succeed in this, maintaining the good climate between the two countries – no violations or infringement of air space, and letting us build on a positive agenda – that too would be a significant achievement. There is a bold agenda with Turkiye that I am willing to explore.”

Asked if he trusts the Turkish president, he responded, “He certainly comes out of a great electoral victory, and perhaps this frees him from using foreign policy issues for domestic consumption. I experienced a different climate. This should have continuity and consistency.”

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Speaking of agreeing with Turkiye to resort to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, he said, “Is it in Greece’s benefit to resolve in a just manner and on the basis of international law the great difference with Turkiye? The answer is Yes. Any agreement of this kind could mean some compromise from certain positions that would provide the starting point of negotiations. We are a long way away from this setting, and a role would be played by the Greek Parliament and by parties.” Mitsotakis added, “I have an obligation to explore whether there is a window of opportunity. There may not be one, at the end.”

The Greek premier was asked to comment on the F-16s Turkiye will procure from the United States and the American Congress’ concern that the fighter jets should not be used against Greece, another NATO member. “The United States’ main concern is to have peace and security in the East Mediterranean,” he said, revealing that based on bilateral Greece-US discussions after having secured a strong defense agreement.

This, he said, may include “good news as to the support they provide us”, both in terms of the F-35s and in the opportunity to acquire additional material for free. The government’s main obligation is that Greece has a strong deterrence ability, and it has succeeded in that, Mitsotakis added.

Mitsotakis also mentioned that Turkiye has the obligation to return to the negotiating table on the Cyprus issue, and he said he had raised the issue with Erdogan of Turkish consulate influence in the Greek Muslim minority in Rodopi. The Lausanne Treaty is unquestionable, he stressed. “This issue concerns Greece. Our Muslim compatriots are our own, European, citizens,” he noted.


The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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