President of Greek Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos sent a clear message from Podgorica, Montenegro on Thursday to the Republic of North Macedonia, Turkey and Albania that if they want to have a European future they should fully respect the European acquis and international law and have resolved their differences with the other EU countries in the region.
In statement during his two-day official visit to Montenegro, the Greek president said during his meeting with President of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic that “the European prospect of our neighbours contains two self-evident conditions, which we must point out in all sincerity. If they want to have European prospects, they must respect the European acquis and international law”.
Referring to North Macedonia, he noted that Greece favours its accession to the EU, clarifying however that this prospect requires, in addition, full respect of the Prespes Agreement signed with Greece. The Agreement, he said, “must be interpreted and implemented in a way that will not allow any trace of irredentism. Any other tactic would obviously hinder the progress of the Republic of North Macedonia in its European accession course.”
On Greek-Turkish relations, the Greek president reiterated that “Greece seeks relations of frienship and good neighbourhood and supports Turkey’s European accession prospect,” adding that “the Treaties of Lausanne and Paris, which are totally clear and comprehensive, leave no room for doubt and should be totally respected by all.” He added that regarding the Economic Exclusive Zone, Turkey must respect the Law of the Sea.
On Albania and its European prospect, “which Greece does not oppose,” he said that “behaviours as those against the Greek minority (…) constitute a insurmountable obstacle for Albania’s smooth accession to the European Union.” Another obstacle, he said, is “any claim of entirely unwarranted so-called rights of the Albanian Cams, ruthless associates of the Nazis, as it has been historically proven.”
Pavlopoulos also referred to the Cyprus issue, noting that it is an international and mostly a European issue, adding that it must be resolved as soon as possible in a fair and sustainable way.
Finally, Pavlopoulos pointed out that the participation of all the Balkan countries in the European Union is undeniably a guarantee for the peaceful co-existence and common creative course of countries and peoples of the region. Greece, he said, sincerely and practically supports Montenegro’s access to the European Union and is ready to contribute and support towards this direction.
He also expressed the hope that this is the first visit of a Greek president to Montenegro after its independence and the establishment of diplomatic ties with Greece, and will essentially contribute in the further strengthening of the already very good relations between the two countries.