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Politics

Mitsotakis at EPP Conference: “Real Dialogue with Turkey Cannot Be Pursued under Threat or Violations”

September 9, 2020

ATHENS — Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis provided a substantiated presentation of Turkey's provocative actions in the Eastern Mediterranean at Tuesday's video conference of the European People's Party Bureau with the Heads of national delegations in the European Parliament.

With Manfred Weber, head of the EPP Parliamentary Group in the European Parliament, Mitsotakis shared the belief that Europe will neither stand weak nor divided in the face of Turkish provocation, said government sources.

Weber wrote, on Twitter: "Very good to talk to Kyriakos Mitsotakis on critical developments in the EastMed today. The EPP Group fully supports the work of the Greek government to protect Europe’s external border and to stand up against Turkish military aggression at sea. We will not be blackmailed."

Participants, among them all the Vice-Presidents of the EPP Central Committee, expressed their unanimous support for Greek positions, sources noted.

After the e-conference, Mitsotakis wrote on Twitter: "I presented to the EPP Group evidence of the provocative actions of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean. Greece is an advocate for dialogue, since we have absolute faith in our positions. However, real dialogue cannot be pursued under threat or violations of our sovereign rights."

In a post on its official Twitter account, the EPP Group wrote: "Our reaction must be given on two levels: EUCO to define the conditions under which we could trigger new economic sanctions. If the provocations continue, Erdogan must be hit where it hurts most – in his wallet." In a second post: "It is time to fundamentally rethink our ties with Turkey. We must end the membership process and rethink a new relationship based on the idea of partnership, in which we are not held hostage," and in a third Twitter post: "It is unacceptable for Europe to give in every time Erdogan threatens to open Turkey’s borders and break our migration agreements. We have to change the game. We will not be blackmailed!"

"Given Weber's clear support for Greece on the issue of Turkish provocations, it would be useful for those who previously called him anti-Greek to clarify their positions on Greece and Turkey, in their own parliamentary group, the European United Left (GUE), at European Parliament level," noted government sources.

Also present at the teleconference was New Democracy's Secretary of International Relations & Serres MP Tasos Hatzivassiliou.

The discussion also revolved around tackling the pandemic, with participants congratulating Greece on managing the health crisis.

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