Greek President Rules Out Lausanne Treaty Changes



President Prokopis Pavlopoulos (R) talks with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) during a meeting in Athens, December 2017.

President Prokopios Pavlopoulos has ruled out any changes to the 1923 Lausanne Treaty which set Greece’s borders in international law.

Speaking on Thursday, Pavlopoulos was quoted by the Athens-Macedonian News Agency as saying: “With regard to Turkey: We seek friendship and good neighbourly relations.

“However, the relationship of friendship and good neighbourliness with Turkey, as well as its European perspective – which we, the Greeks, favour – depend on full respect for all international and European law.

“In particular, full respect for the Lausanne Treaty, the 1947 Treaty of Paris and the Law of the Sea, which binds Turkey in the form of generally accepted rules of international law, applied in its entirety and not selectively.

“In addition, the Treaty of Lausanne, which enshrines the borders, territory and sovereignty of both Greece and the European Union, cannot be revised or updated and is absolutely clear without leaving any doubt about ‘grey zones’.

“Under these circumstances, Turkey must understand and respect that Greece and the European Union favour its European perspective, but they also have the will and the power to defend, immediately and effectively, their borders, territory and sovereignty.”

His comments follow remarks made by Ankara’s foreign minister who claimed there was doubt over parts Greece’s Aegean border with Turkey.

“The sovereignty of certain islands and rocky islets and sea borders in the Aegean are not defined by any existing international agreement between Turkey and Greece,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said.