ATHENS – “We are the first to understand the value of peace. But we are also the first to understand what the defence of international and European law means,” President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos stressed on Monday, during his meeting with a group of Greek-American students of the American-Hellenic Institute (AHI) headed by Chairman and Executive Director Nick Larigakis at the Presidential Mansion.
Referring to the relations of the Republic of Cyprus and Greece with Turkey, he reiterated that Greece is a peaceful country, since it firmly believes in friendship and good neighbourly relations, but presupposes full and honest respect for international law. “We also respect the European acquis if we consider that international law determines, of course, the territory and borders of Greece in the region but also defines the territory and the borders of the European Union”, he noted.
He pointed out that an integral part of international law is the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, on the basis of which the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) are defined. “And this Law of the Sea, under the 1982 Montego Bay Treaty – as I have often said and I will not tire of saying – is binding for everyone, even for those who have not signed the treaty. Because that treaty generates generally accepted rules of international law that bind everyone,” he added.
Pavlopoulos stressed that Greece “wants to live in peace with all our neighbours but they have to respect international and European Law, respect the borders, the territory, the EEZ of Greece, which is the border, territory and EEZ of the European Union.”