Italian PM: Agreement a Historic Moment for both Countries, Which Enjoy an Old Friendship

ATHENS — The agreement on the delimitation of maritime zones between Greece and Italy signed on Tuesday is "a historic moment" for the two countries, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio said in a joint press conference with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias.

The agreement, di Maio said, will strengthen "a historic friendship that is coordinated in European and international fora" towards a great, Mediterranean region where the two countries play a leading role.

"I am pleased because today we were able to sign, Greece and Italy, the delimitation of maritime zones, as well as two legal documents for the Mediterranean's natural resources and the protection of historic fishing rights," the Italian Foreign minister said, while Italy is showing it also respects Greece's sovereign rights.

Di Maio also expressed appreciation for the Greek government's and people's support during the pandemic, with specific donations, and for Greece's collaboration in the Next Generation EU program for the revival of the European economy currently under proposal.

He expressed appreciation also for Foreign Minister Dendias' assertion that Greece will lift restrictions for tourists from Italy by the end of the month, while Italy was prepared to welcome tourists itself.

Referring on the migration issue, he recalled the collaboration with Greece and said the new EU agreement under discussion has to distribute migrants equally among member states. He also expressed Italy's concern about Libya and said that his country believed in political, not military, solutions, and fully supported politicial talks at the Berlin Conference. In addition, he reconfirmed his country's support for the European naval operation Irini, saying that the focus should not be on supporting one side only but on the end of the conflict, with an arms embargo included.


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