Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, left, is welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron for a working diner at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
PARIS – Building a rampart against Turkey’s aggressions, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis went to Paris where he got renewed backing from French President Emmanuel Macron.
That came against the backdrop of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggesting he wouldn’t be averse to invading Greece because he’s piqued by Greece building an arsenal and seeking international allies.
France and Greece also have a mutual defense agreement and Greece is buying French-made Rafale fighter jets and warships, as well as American ships, and wants to acquire American-made F-35 fighter jets.
“This strategic partnership will not allow any unrest in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Macron said in joint statements at the Elysee Palace in Paris with Mitsotakis, who said both countries are “stronger together.”
“We fully support Greece’s sovereignty,” Macron said, noting that full cooperation on foreign and defense policy and armaments is now more important because of challenges – not mentioning Turkey.
Instead, steering around the volatile and often belligerent Erdogan, they talked about bilateral relations, said Kathimerini, although making pointed, if indirect, references about Turkey’s open hostility.
“Those who say that they will come in the night, we are waiting for them in the daylight, where it is shown who has the right and true power on his side,” said Mitsotakis in reference to Erdogan’s threat to “come suddenly one night.”
Mitsotakis said that Greece is ready in any account to defend its sovereignty and as complaints were made to the United Nations, European Union, and United States about Turkey’s threats.
“The first Rafales are already flying in the skies, our first frigates are already being built,” Mitsotakis added, concentrating on defense although the two leaders also talked about the growing energy crisis in the EU.
“We agree on many issues, both on prices and on the need to multiply energy sources,” said Macron, while Mitsotakis repeated Greece’s call for the EU to decouple gas prices from electricity prices as they are soaring.
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