ALEXANDROUPOLIS - The so-called "memorandum" between Turkey and Libya is not only invalid but also utterly void legally, as it has no foundation in international law, President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos stated on Friday from the city of Alexandroupolis, northeastern Greece, where he was attending celebrations for the city's patron saint Agios Nikolaos.
Pavlopoulos underlined that with goodwill and complete sincerity, Greece sends the message to Turkey that "we, Greeks, have proved that we fully respect international and European law, and beyond everything, the fundamental human rights deriving from the international and European legal system".
"This respect has made us, internationally and at a European level, an example to imitate," Pavlopoulos said, adding that "within this framework we respect, to the same degree, every form of right enjoyed by our fellow citizens, the Muslims of Thrace, who are an entirely religious minority, as expressly stated in international law and particularly the Lausanne Treaty."
Pavlopoulos said that Turkey should behave more responsible toward Greece, not only because its claims concerning the Greek Muslim community in Thrace amount to a distortion of history but also because its past is linked to inconceivable instances of persecution targeting Greeks and the Greek nation.
He said that Turkey's stance toward humanity also characterises its attitude toward the refugees and the migrants, to whom "it behaves in a way that violates any sense of international law, reaching the point of using them as hostages or as a means to coerce Greece and the European Union," he said, and called on the EU and the international community to act so as to oblige Turkey to comform with international and European legality, including through the imposition of sanctions.