In the context of my regular contacts with the parliamentary parties, the parties that are represented in the Hellenic Parliament, I briefed them on the major foreign policy issues.
First of all, I informed them about the NATO Summit in Madrid, where Greece was represented by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
And I provided the representatives of the parliamentary parties with a copy of the Agreement between Finland, Sweden and Turkey. I also had the opportunity to explain to the representatives of the parliamentary parties that this Agreement does not create excess benefits for Turkey, as part of Greek public opinion appears to believe. On the contrary, Turkey did not even succeed in designating the YPG or ‘FETO’ as terrorist organisations in this agreement; or, as it could not possibly have happened, to place the extradition procedure under a special regime other than the European Convention on Extradition.
Regarding the issue of PESCO, [Turkey’s] participation in these programmes, Greece and Cyprus have the relevant veto right within the framework of the Council of the European Union.
Therefore, I think that what is being said in Greece regarding Turkey’s “excess benefits” and “triumph” does not really reflect reality.
Of course, I had the opportunity to discuss all this with my two counterparts from Sweden and Finland, whom I met at the NATO Summit.
There was another noteworthy event in Madrid: the new Strategic Concept was adopted, and I believe it merits more attention. In this Strategic Concept, particular reference is made to the values of International Law and good neighbourly relations between countries, as well as to the overall framework of values and principles that Greece believes in and stands for. And which, if implemented, will resolve a huge number of problems in our wider region.
We also had the opportunity to discuss the escalation of Turkish rhetoric and the various violations on the ground. I informed the representatives of the parties about the perfectly clear Greek position. First of all, provocative conduct is not accepted and will be answered. But, beyond that, Greece will not be entangled in an ongoing escalation. On the contrary, Greece is seeking de-escalation; it believes that rhetorical outbursts from the other side of the Aegean cannot result in positive developments regarding Greek-Turkish relations. I also told them clearly that Greece has no intention of going down the path of this ongoing escalation. Instead, it always maintains a serious stance that is compelled by our own belief in and commitment to International Law and the International Law of the Sea, as well as international human rights law.
As we enter the last year of the government’s term of office, I would like to conclude by making a broader request. My request is that national issues be kept out of the realm of partisan politics, as has largely been the case to date. That is, we need to maintain the maturity and concord that have gotten us to this point.
Because I believe it is right to always remember that Hellenism has been historically divided over foreign policy issues. And we should keep in mind that this year, 2022, marks 100 years since the national catastrophe of 1922. A national catastrophe largely brought on by the National Schism.
We should not forget that we are facing a national threat and we can face this threat if we are united, that is, if we are united together.
Therefore, upon the instructions I have received from the Prime Minister, I will continue to serve this priority of concord and unity of the Greek people.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic