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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Dendias: Disappointment for the German attitude in Greek-Turkish

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Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, in a meeting with the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) MP Nils Schmid, spoke at length about bilateral relations with Turkey, the Greek position on the Western Balkans and the German position on Hellas.

According to diplomatic sources, he first praised the role played by Social Democrat officials in Greece's accession to the European Union, such as Helmut Schmid and Willy Brandt.

He pointed out, however, that the Social Democratic Party is voting in a way that creates at least intense frustration in the Greek government. A typical example is the recent vote against a bill banning the export of submarines to Turkey. The Foreign Minister stressed that Greece does not oppose the decision of the German government taken in 2008, but the fact that Germany has not changed its decision in light of Turkey's provocative behavior in the Eastern Mediterranean in recent years.

He added that handing over the submarines to a country that continues to destabilize the region would change the balance of power to the detriment of states that want stability and respect international rules.

He referred to Germany's particularly "lukewarm" stance on the prospect of restrictive measures by the European Union, which in turn discourages Turkey from violating its conduct. He stressed that for Greece, the Turkish threat is an "existential challenge" and that the European Union should stand up to the circumstances.

He also reiterated Greece's disappointment at not sending an invitation to the Second Berlin Ministerial Conference on Libya. In this context, he stressed the geographical proximity of Greece to Libya, the fact that our country talks to those who have an institutional role in the country, is one of the few countries that operates an Embassy in Tripoli and a Consulate General in Benghazi, and finally participates in a program of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Libya.

In addition to the above, the Foreign Minister also referred to the issue of war reparations, emphasizing that it remains open, recalling the sensitivity of Greek public opinion.

Regarding the contacts with the Turkish side, both Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and President Erdogan, as well as his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, stressed that although there is a clear difference in climate, he noted that there is no difference in substance. In this context, he extensively developed the Greek positions.

Finally, the Foreign Minister referred to the efforts made by Greece to stabilize and strengthen the European perspective of the Western Balkans.

He spoke about the political decision to submit the dispute over the delimitation of the EEZ with Albania to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, a decision that is now appropriate to proceed with the signing of the joint.

He made special mention of the fact that Greece is the only country in the region where the Muslim population has not been affected by extremist elements. He emphasized the need to work with other countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, to support moderate Islam in the Balkans.

Finally, he referred to Northern Macedonia, emphasizing Greece's commitment to its European perspective, and referred to an initiative he took in this direction towards the Portuguese Presidency of the EU. For example, the name of the Football Federation of the country, which appeared on the jersey of the national team, is not in line with the letter or the spirit of this Agreement, but also with the level of bilateral relations between Greece and the North. Of Macedonia. He raised the issue in contacts with both Deputy Prime Minister Nicola Dimitrov and Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani.

 

Alexandra Voudouri

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