Athens, May 21, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias had multiple meetings on the sidelines of the spring meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Brussels. He met privately with his counterparts, Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu, Italy Paolo Gentiloni, Dutch Bert Koenders and FYROM Nikola Poposki.
During the meeting, which was held in a constructive atmosphere, Nikos Kotzias and Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu agreed on the need to maintain close cooperation between the two sides to reduce tensions and to avoid causing unjustified intensification in bilateral relations. They also discussed the details of the visit of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Istanbul for the “World Humanitarian Summit”, and his meeting with the President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Mr Kotzias invited Mr Çavuşoğlu to visit Greece in the near future and asked his counterpart to convey his congratulations to the next Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr Binali Yıldırım.
In his meeting with his counterpart in Italy Paulo Gentiloni, the Greek Foreign Minister focused on the prospects of the further development of bilateral relations, with emphasis on the processed action plan, which aims to institutionalize bilateral cooperation, covering a wide range of subjects as well as the issue of recognition of the defined EEZ from both countries, which was to take place in July 2015, but due to the developments in Greece it was postponed.
The Foreign Minister congratulated the Dutch Foreign Minister, Bert Koenders for the successful Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union. During the meeting, they had a constructive exchange of views on issues of particular Greek interest. In that regard, Mr Kotzias thanked Koenders for his country’s contribution to the action of the Allied Naval Force “SNMG2” in the Aegean, as well as for the significant humanitarian and logistical assistance that has been offered to address the refugee crisis in Greece. Finally, the two ministers confirmed their similar views on european and international issues.
Finally N. Kotzias met with Nikola Poposki FYROM’s Foreign Minister. Their discussions focused on the confidence-building measures, launched in 2015 on the initiative of the Greek Foreign Ministry and in particular the results of the last round of negotiations held in Skopje last April, as well as on the operational continuity, in view of the forthcoming Athens round next month. Mr Kotzias expressed his satisfaction for the first positive results of the process.
Finally, the Greek Foreign Minister asked the opinions of his interlocutor on the current political developments in FYROM, expressing hope for a quick return to normalcy, in accordance with European political values and the necessary demonstration of compromise culture by all the political forces of the country for the benefit not only of itself but also of the wider region SE Europe.
Greek Foreign Minister will attend the Foreign Affairs Council on May 23
Nikos Kotzias will participate on Monday 23 May, in the Foreign Affairs Council, which will meet in Brussels.
In the Council’s agenda is included the Regional European Union Strategy for Syria, Iraq and combating Da’esh.
Discussions will also revolve around migration and the assessment of the current situation and the course of the implementation of the EU-Turkey Agreement of March 18. The Council will also deal with issues of Sub Saharan Africa and in particular the developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.
Finally, Mr Kotzias will attend a working lunch, in which there will be an evaluation the Global Strategy of the EU on Foreign Policy and Security Policy.