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With Political Instability Growing, Greece Needs to Display Consistency

The latest postponement of a White House visit by Greece’s Premier – for a second time this year – in conjunction with the announcement of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s trip to Washington, DC in May is certainly not auspicious. Although this is only the first time that Mr. Erdogan will meet with Joe Biden at the Oval Office since the latter became president, the uncertainty that stands to arise in the coming months due to the existing state of flux on the U.S. political scene gives rise to concerns regarding the nature of discussions with Turkey.

Mao Zedong supposedly used to say that when “there is great chaos under heaven – the situation is excellent.” If history is any proof, it would seem that the Turks understand this profoundly. After all, they capitalized on the situation fifty years ago in Cyprus and a resolution there remains more elusive than ever. Fortunately, in contrast to 1974, Greece is governed by a legitimate and lawfully elected government. The polity is stable and democracy is under no danger of dissolution – from the military at least.

Nonetheless, the instability demonstrated by successive Greek Governments regarding national ‘red lines’ created to preserve Greek interests is reason for concern. The latest such example occurred when Greek MP Dora Bakoyannis, in her role as Council of Europe rapporteur, recommended that Kosovo’s membership bid to the Council of Europe be accepted, even though Pristina has not fulfilled all of its international obligations regarding the provision of safeguards for ethnic Serbians living in Kosovo.

While we won’t likely ever know what caused Mrs. Bakoyannis to do a diplomatic 180, what we do know is that the acceptance of Kosovo into an international organization without the previous resolution of its differences with Serbia sets a negative precedent that threatens to adversely impact Cyprus and aids Turkish efforts to upgrade the international standing of the pseudostate in northern Cyprus. This certainly runs contrary to Cypriot interests and should naturally run contrary to Greek interests as well. Consistency is a virtue that characterizes nations with effective diplomacy and earns them the respect of allies and rivals alike.

Of course, this is not the first time that a Greek Government acts contrary to Greek national interests. One need only ask themselves in what way Greece has profited until now from the shameful ‘mistake by the lake’ Prespa Agreement, which Skopje violates anyway at every chance without fearing the slightest consequence…

Returning to the present situation, Athens’ unexpected support of Kosovo also strengthens the Tirana-Pristina axis being promoted by Albania’s expansionist agenda, at a time when the Albanian Government led by its Premier Edi Rama is openly targeting the Greeks of Northern Epirus. The kangaroo court that convicted the elected Mayor of Himara Mr. Freddy Beleris and sentenced him to prison – in a parody of a trial unacceptable by Western standards – represents an affront to Greece and must not be allowed to pass. If Mr. Rama is not made to pay the price for his tyrannical behavior, Greece’s international standing will suffer and its diplomatic position will weaken.

Greece is a peaceful nation situated in a difficult region and shares borders with nations that have irridentist and revisionist agendas. Its closest ally and fellow EU partner, Cyprus, is a second independent Greek state. Sadly though, it is the only EU nation under foreign occupation and it continues to be threatened by Turkey until today. Likewise, the indigenous Greek population living in Albania needs protection and support – especially now that international interests are pushing for the induction of Albania into the EU, following its accession to NATO. Perhaps in return for supporting the accession of Albania and Skopje to NATO, Greece should have proposed Cyprus’ accession as well.

On this 50th anniversary of the invasion and tragic occupation of Cyprus by Turkey, Greece must display the same zeal in advocating for a just solution to the Cyprus issue as it does to advancing the interests of its allies, as in the case of Ukraine. Administrations come and go, and in the end, all that’s left is a nation’s consistency and the courage of its convictions. Ultimately, consistency is valued more than malleability, because at the very least, one’s allies know who they are dealing with and what they can expect.

One useful step toward this direction is to establish a strong and stable security council that will help formulate Greek foreign policy, regardless of who is governing the country. As it heads toward European Parliament elections and faces perhaps its first real challenge since its election in 2019 due to growing public dissatisfaction, the current Government would do well to renew its commitment to its party’s patriotic roots and proceed with this necessary and beneficial reform.

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What is proven, and quite clearly indeed by the article which is published in this edition of The National Herald titled ‘Church of Crete Sends Letter to Patriarch Bartholomew Telling Him Not to Interfere’, regarding the ongoing issues within the Semi-Autonomous Church of Crete, is the fact that Patriarch Bartholomew has become a captive of his own choices in general.

BOSTON – The Semi-Autonomous Church of Crete, through its Holy Eparchial Synod, sent a letter on Tuesday, April 30 to Patriarch Bartholomew in response to his inquiry about his rights regarding the Patriarchal Monasteries of the island, telling him not to interfere administratively with them, according to information obtained by The National Herald.

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