FM Kotzias: EU’s Stricter Statement Ever Made for Turkey

February 24, 2018

ATHENS – Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on Saturday underlined the importance of EU positions on the Turkish provocations in the Aegean and Cyprus’ EEZ, expressed by the president of the European Council Donald Tusk who urged Turkey to stop these actions immediately, on Saturday in an interview to public radio ERT.

“It was a very strict statement, stricter than that in 1996 for Imia, the strictest every expressed by EU for Turkey” noted Kotzias.

The Greek Foreign Minister sent a message to Ankara that it can’t make violations in Greece as those it does in the Middle East because “it (Greece) is an organised country that has all the means to defend its borders and its territory”.

On Ankara’s recent actions of tension in the Aegean and the ramming of a Greek vessel by a Turkish one, Kotzias said that “If Turkey wants to raise tension, the least Greece can do is to follow it because Turkey has chosen the way and the period of this tension. We must prove to all the international community which is the peaceful power, which is us”.

Referring to the recent developments on the FYROM name issue, Kotzias said that the Greek draft agreement is completed in its first phase and has been sent from the Foreign Ministry to the government. He left open the possibility to send it to Skopje before his visit to FYROM in March, after the works for the change of the name of Skopje airport and the motorway have been completed.

Asked on the FYROM’s Constitution and Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s statements, Kotzias clarified that “what the other side says is not the agreement or what we say” adding that “the main representatives of our friendly country in the north should not state in these categorically ways points of the negotiation”.

Kotzias made clear that “the only way to safeguard the stability of the name that will be agreed is by becoming part of the Constitution” adding “we insist that we want an agreement that will last, an agreement that will resolve problems and not create new ones”.


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