M. Varvitsiotis | “We are not happy with the strengthening of the defence cooperation between Madrid – Ankara”
Defence Redefined
Published on 28/11/2021 at 12:05

“We are not happy with the strengthening of the defence cooperation between Madrid and Ankara,” stressed the Deputy Foreign Minister, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, in an interview with the Spanish newspaper “El Pais”. “Turkey is a country that does not respect international law,” he added.

Mr. Varvitsiotis noted that Greece wants to play a stabilising role in the region and is in favour of strengthening a strategic security axis in the Mediterranean, whereas “Turkey pursues a policy in terms of military power.”

“We are trying to develop our relations with all the countries in the region, especially with Israel, Egypt and Cyprus.” What is more, the defence agreements with the USA and France “are governed by the spirit of the European Defence Mechanism”.

The Deputy Minister made a special reference to the issue of immigration, emphasising that the Greek government, in the face of the instrumentalisation of immigration by Turkey, has implemented a restrictive policy of preventing the entry of illegal immigrants through the sea borders, which does not jeopardize human lives, is not secretly applied, as it is monitored by all international actors in the region such as Frontex and NATO, and defends the principle that “the EU has borders which it must defend”.

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In contrast, he said, the Turkish Coast Guard, instead of preventing immigrant ships from setting sail, is promoting them again, jeopardizing human lives. In addition, he stressed that Greece has reduced the number of people it hosts from 30,000 – in miserable living conditions in 2015 – to 3,000 today, creating new reception centers with decent conditions.

Speaking about the new German government, the Deputy Foreign Minister said that “he must understand that we are in a new Europe” because of the effects of the pandemic around the world and “instead of taking strict measures, the new stability measures should be directed towards EU growth.”

Source: AMNA

Also read: Erdogan – Sanchez | Strengthening of bilateral relations and military cooperation




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