Greece: Dendias meets with Szijjarto

Greece: Dendias meets with Szijjarto

Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Szijjarto, who paid a working visit to Greece on Thursday, was received by Nikos Dendias at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Talks revolved around Turkey’s activity, which is destabilizing the Mediterranean region and challenging the sovereign rights of Greece and the Republic of Cyprus.

The Greek Foreign Minister noted that Greece has always been in favor of dialogue “under a basic condition: that this dialogue be conducted on the basis of the rules of international law, the law of the sea, good neighborliness”. “It will not take place under threats, under blackmail, with violations of our sovereignty on a daily basis. In these terms, dialogue cannot be understood”, Nikos Dendias emphasized.

“Attempts to create illegal faits accomplis, such as the Turkish-Bolivian memorandum, do not affect the legal rights of Greece or any other country, they cannot be a bargaining chip, they cannot even be a bargaining starting point”, Mr. Dendias said in a statement after the meeting, and added: “The non-existent and the illegal will always remain illegal and non-existent”.

Referring to the issue of immigration, the Greek Foreign Minister recalled the failed “attempted illegal entry of immigrants last February and March, who were expelled in this direction from Turkey”, noting that “Hungary was one of the first partners to send backup and aid during those developments”.

Nikos Dendias noted that the forthcoming revision of the common European asylum policy should be based on the fair distribution of responsibilities and obligations.

At the meeting of the two Foreign Ministers, the effects of the pandemic on the economies of the two countries, the measures for their mitigation, as well as the issue of tourism were also discussed, while a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation in the field of Tourism was signed, in the presence of Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis.

Bilateral relations, the progress of major energy and transport projects of common interest, such as the Piraeus-Budapest railway connection, as well as investment opportunities in Greece and Hungary were also discussed.

Nikos Dendias also pointed out that the issues of the Western Balkans were discussed, which will be further examined at a meeting on interconnection between the countries of the region in Corfu in the autumn.

The two sides agreed, according to the Greek Foreign Minister, on mutual coordination on issues of common interest or on issues concerning the region, “in the stability of which we have invested a lot”, he stated.

For his part, the Hungarian Foreign Minister, referring to immigration, pointed out that Europe’s external borders should be strongly protected and it should become clear “one will be able to enter an EU country, our countries, only in a legal way”.

Peter Szijjarto noted that Greece and Hungary have systematically faced constant and ongoing challenges due to the phenomenon of immigration, noting that it was natural for Hungary to send forces and reinforcements to Greece in March.

He also noted the need for returns of migrants to their countries of origin, if they have no right to be in the EU, and said that “the behavior and statements of some in the EU who claim that repatriation is not justified are scandalous”.

He added that the most powerful measures must be taken to combat trafficking and to provide assistance to the countries from where immigrants originate, and to provide them with incentives to stay.

Finally, Peter Szijjarto, referring to the successful management of the coronavirus pandemic in Hungary and Greece, expressed his concern about the increase in cases in the wider region, noting that if restrictive measures need to be re-imposed, this will be done without hesitation /ibna