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Politics

Mitsotakis to Brief EU Leaders on Greece-France Defence Deal

ATHENS — Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will brief his European counterparts on the Greece-France agreement regarding the establishment of a strategic partnership in defence and security, but also its impact on the broader geopolitical developments, as Athens points out that it strengthens the European pillar of defence for the strategic autonomy of Europe.

Mitsotakis will brief them during the working dinner of the European leaders, in the framework of the informal European Council and the EU – Western Balkans summit, taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday in Brdo, Slovenia, according to government sources.

The Greek prime minister will also brief them on the Turkish challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean.

A strategic discussion on the European Union's role on the international stage is expected to take place in the light of recent developments in Afghanistan, the AUKUS security partnership and the evolution of EU relations with China. Earlier, Mitsotakis will participate in the summit of the European People's Party (EPP).

At the EU-Western Balkans Summit scheduled for Wednesday, the prime minister is expected to reiterate Greece's firm support for the accession perspective of the Western Balkans and the belief that a clear message of support needs to be sent to the candidate countries, according to government sources.

This message was also addressed a few days ago by Mitsotakis through his discussion with the journalist of the "New York Times", Steven Erlanger, emphasising that "we must offer the Western Balkans a very clear European perspective. We need to talk openly about enlargement".

The summit is expected to highlight the strategic importance of the Western Balkans for the Union and the European perspective of the region.

The agenda for the Western Balkans will be divided into two sessions:

The first session will be attended by local participants. The Regional Cooperation Council, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank will present their views. The focus is expected to be on the implementation of the commitment to promote the socio-economic recovery and sustainable development of the region and the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans.

The second session, which will be attended by EU leaders and the partners of the Western Balkans, the European perspective of the region and how to further deepen political dialogue, cooperation, ensuring regional stability and strengthening regional cooperation will be examined.

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