Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis is in Paris on Wednesday, where earlier he held an official meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.
The French leader welcomed Prime Minister Mitsotakis on the steps of the Élysée Palace in the capital city before the two leaders headed inside for talks.
Following their discussion, the two leaders gave a joint statement in which they expressed the near-total agreement between Athens and Paris on almost every issue.
President Macron announced that the two nations will work diligently in the next months to establish a strong strategic defense alliance which will safeguard the interests of the two nations in the broader region.
”In recent days we have been watching Turkish ships and movements in the Mediterranean. It is a clear violation of the Berlin Agreement,” Macron stated, adding that France stands unequivocally by Greece and Cyprus against the Turkish provocations and violations of their sovereign rights.
”Our two nations have a common strategic vision,” Macron noted, referring to the views of Athens and Paris in regard to Europe and the Mediterranean.
Macron also praised Greece’s rapid economic progress, pledging more direct French investments in the country.
The French President also outlined the shared Greek and French positions on a series of issues, such as climate change, the new European Green Deal, the common European Asylum arrangements, and Brexit.
Macron declared ”The United Kingdom leaves the European Union — but not Europe,” highlighting the importance Greece and France place on strengthening the European Union itself through this process.
”Greece and France are always together on every crucial rendezvous,” Macron concluded, adding that he will soon make an official visit to Athens.
On his behalf, Prime Minister Mitsotakis highlighted the common strategic alliance between Greece and France on a series of issues, primarily in the economic and military realm.
Mitsotakis, referring to the increased presence of French aircraft carriers and other French naval forces, reiterated his position that ”Greece hails the military presence of France in the Eastern Mediterranean.” The two nations have already been conducting joint military operations in Greece and Cyprus.
The Greek Premier also noted the need for a common European approach and solidarity on the issue of the refugee and migrant crisis, hailing the stance France has taken on the isssue.
This meeting between the French and Greek leaders comes at a crucial time for the broader Mediterranean region since France has recently stood out as Greece’s most stalwart and consistent ally in the area.