Pavlopoulos’ Message to Turkey: Greece Prepared to Defend its Borders if Necessary

Greece is striving for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus issue as soon as possible but could not accept anything short of full sovereignty for the island, President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos said on Sunday, in a message to Turkey while speaking on the Dodecanese island of Kasos, at an event where he was declared an honorary citizen. Pavlopoulos further stressed that Greece will not hesitate to defend its borders, which were also the borders of the EU.

“The Cyprus Republic, as a full member of the EU, cannot conceivably have a limited sovereignty, as would result from occupation troops and anachronistic third-party guarantees,” he said.

Such a case would be contrary to all concepts of international and European law, Pavlopoulos pointed out, and would create a dangerous and possibly disastrous precedent for the sovereignty of every EU member-state.

Referring to relations between Greece and Turkey, the president said that Greece will not make any concessions as regards adhering to and implementing EU laws and practices in relations with Turkey.

“Setting as an inviolable term the self-evident need for full respect and unremitting adherence of European and international law in its entirety, our country strives with actions to develop close ties of good neighbourhood and sincere friendship with Turkey. And it is prepared to offer its active support to Turkey’s rapprochement with the EU,” he said.

Greece would make no concessions on the need to respect EU laws and, moreover, was prepared to fully defend its borders, territorial integrity and sovereignty, which were also the borders, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the EU, should the need arise, Pavlopoulos added.

Referring the anniversary of the accession of the Dodecanese to the Greek state, he noted that its legal foundation in international law was the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty, which established Greece’s full sovereignty over the Dodecanese island group and nearby islets, regardless of their size or other features, such as whether they were populated. As such, for the Dodecanese islands and throughout the Aegean, there were no “grey zones” under international law, Pavlopoulos stressed.

“Greece, pursuant to the provisions of Article 51 of the UN Charter, in the context of the right for anticipatory self-defence, has the capability for the full defensive protection of the Dodecanese against any potential threat,” he said.
(Source: ANA-MPA)