President Sends Strong Message to Greece’s Neighbors



Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Thursday sent a stern triple message to Ankara, Skopje and Tirana.

Speaking while welcoming his Georgian counterpart Georgy Margvelashvili at the Presidential mansion in Athens, Pavlopoulos referred to the Cyprus problem, noting that it was an international and European issue for which Greece seeks and desires a fair and sustainable solution.

This, however, can happen only on the basis of respect for the principles of European law regarding the sovereignty of member-states, he added.

Pavlopoulos ruled out third-party guarantees and occupation troops on Cyprus as “inconceivable” and noted that “as long as there are Turkish obsessions, Turkey’s position can’t be accepted”.

Greece desires good relations with Turkey and supports its European prospects but this friendship must be based on respect of international law and the European acquis, was the president’s clear message.

In a special reference to the Lausanne Treaty, he noted that: “It is not open to revision or updating, there are no ‘grey zones’.”

Given this, “when and if Turkey respects the positions of international law and the Lausanne Treaty, we are here [to consider] its European prospects. Otherwise it will be held responsible if the opposite occurs,” noted Pavlopoulos.

On relations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Pavlopoulos said Greece supports its EU and NATO accession prospects but stressed that everything depends on first resolving the name issue, which can only be resolved “if there is no suggestion of irredentism”.

For this reason, he asked FYROM to proceed with the necessary changes to its laws and constitution so that a solution without irredentism can be found.

Concluding, the Greek president stated that Athens desires Albania’s European perspective and its inclusion in NATO but that respect for human rights, especially property and minority rights, was imperative.

At this point, Pavlopoulos referred to issues raised anew by Tirana in recent days: “The Albanian political authorities are making a huge mistake supporting the alleged rights of some Albanians that collaborated with the Nazis during the German occupation in Greece,” he said, adding that those wanting to join NATO and the EU should not support the nonexistent rights of Nazi collaborators.

“When there is another position, Greece will be here,” to support its neighboring country in terms of its accession to the Alliance and the EU, concluded Pavlopoulos.

(Source: AMNA)