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Greek, Hungarian FM Discuss Turkish Provocations, Sign Tourism Memorandum

Αssociated Press

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias second right, and his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto, second left, sign an agreement following their meeting in Athens, on Thursday, July 9, 2020.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS -- Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias discussed Turkey's destabilizing actions in the Mediterranean and its challenges of both Greece's and Cyprus' sovereign rights, in a meeting with his visiting Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto on Thursday.

Illegal agreements like the Turkish-Libyan memorandum do not affect the legal rights of Greece or any other country "and they can never be used as a bargaining chip," Dendias noted in a statement after the meeting.

Although Greece has always favoured dialogue with Turkey, "this dialogue must be conducted based on International Law, the Law of the Sea, and based on an attitude of good neighbourliness," he pointed out.

Regarding the migration crisis, he recalled the recent tension at the Greek-Turkish border and the "attempted illegal entry of migrants in February and March, who were forced towards Greece's direction from Turkey," and noted that "Hungary was one of the first partners who sent support and aid during these events."

Dendias also mentioned that the forthcoming revision of the common European asylum system should be based on the fair distribution of responsibilities and obligations; to this effect, Szijjarto met with the Greek Minister of Migration & Asylum Notis Mitarachi earlier on Thursday.

The Hungarian minister noted that migrants who have no right to be in the EU should return to their home countries and said that "the behavior and statements of some in the EU who claim that repatriation is not justified are scandalous."

The two ministers also signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation in the field of tourism in the presence of Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis, and also discussed the potential Piraeus-Budapest railway connection and mutual investment opportunities in Greece and Hungary.