Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, speaking at the press conference after the EU Summit, stated that he was satisfied with the outcome of the Summit regarding the denouncement of the Turkish activity and the unequivocal solidarity towards Greece.
The Prime Minister said that “I have requested and received from my counterparts from all the EU member states the full support to Greece against the Turkish provocations. I had the opportunity to thoroughly brief the Heads of State and Government on the “agreement” between Libya and Turkey, because this Memorandum – for us – constitutes a completely null and void Agreement, since it violates the rights, the indisputable rights of the Greek islands in maritime zones, but also in terms of the formal legalization process; because- I would like to point it out once again – this Memorandum has not received the ratification of the Libyan Parliament”. He went on to add that during the leaders’ dinner “not one of those who spoke failed to reiterate their full support towards Athens and Cyprus”, while he thanked President Macron “who was very supportive and was the one who publicly declared the fairness of the Greek positions in NATO”.
While in Brussels, he sent a message of reassurance and confidence to all the Greeks citizens, and underlined: “I want them all to know that we remain calm, confident; we have a plan. Not only because we are in the right, but because we also have very strong allies who will always stand by Greece when it comes to defending its sovereign rights”.
He reassured that “Greece will do whatever it takes and whatever is needed to defend its sovereign rights”, will noting that “Turkey is hopelessly isolated in terms of diplomacy, after the move it made to sign this void ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ with Libya”.
When asked about what might come afterwards, he replied: “I hope that we do not reach any sort of escalation. That is not up to us though. I want to be absolutely clear. We will do whatever it takes to defend our sovereign rights. Apart from that, it is up to the other side whether they receive this message.
On the possibility of a new meeting with Tayyip Erdogan, he commented “it is not something I am planning right now”, to add: “I am open to meeting President Erdogan at any time. However, at this moment, with the given degree of climaxing from the Turkish side, I do not think that this would be immediately productive… On the other hand, the communication channel with Turkey is – and must remain – open. And from the first moment I met Mr. Erdogan, I told him I wanted to keep the Confidence Building Measures channel open.
He also referred to his upcoming visit to the US, where the issue of defense cooperation will be discussed, while adding that he was looking forward to the level of cooperation “on how we can equip our Armed Forces. Because we must not forget that our deterrent power goes through investments in our Armed Forces. Investments that unfortunately in the years of the economic crisis were wholesomely left behind”. He stressed that the Greek Parliament ratified the agreement to upgrade the F-16s and the Mirages, so that we could support our aircrafts and maximize their flight capabilities.
Mr. Mitsotakis announced that he would be in Frankfurt next Tuesday “to have a lengthy discussion with Miss Christine Lagarde” and noted that “Greece will raise the issue of primary surpluses in 2020 and their reduction by 2021. We have come to believe that the right ground has been set. This discussion will be raised for the first time in Eurogroup and possibly during the first half of 2020. It will provide tangible results for Greek the citizens”./ibna