Mitsotakis: Greece’s red lines are clearly delineated in talks with Turkiye

“We keep the channels of communication with Turkiye open, without deviating from our fixed national positions,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday, in an interview with Skai TV.

“It is positive that we are talking and that the contacts with Turkiye have entered into a framework of normalcy. I consider it an important development that a significant improvement has been achieved in the last 15 months, i.e. there are zero violations in the Aegean. We have also made significant progress on the level of cooperation in migration, where flows are extremely limited. We cooperate well with Turkey. The visa facilitation agreement is also very important, as it increases the number of visitors to the Eastern Aegean islands. Greece’s foreign policy has not changed in the last four years. We deal with Turkey with confidence and with our own red lines strictly delineated, but also with strong armed forces. I welcome the fact that Turkey has changed its stance and that we are able to agree that we can disagree peacefully,” Mitsotakis noted.

Regarding the marine parks, the prime minister stressed that “Greece, as a member of the European Union, has heightened obligations regarding the protection of the environment. We have the marine park of Alonissos, I don’t remember getting anyone’s permission. Of course, the parks will be built within an area of Greek sovereignty. I wonder if a marine park in the Cyclades concerns Turkiye. I assure you that Greece comes to these discussions with its national line strictly demarcated. I make it clear that there is nothing behind the marine parks initiative other than to protect our marine ecosystem. I have no illusion that Turkiye has changed its fixed positions regarding the Aegean and its view that there may be more differences than the delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is the only difference that Greece recognises.”

Regarding the implementation of the Prespa Agreement by the new president of North Macedonia, he said: “I warned the new government in the neighbouring country that any deviation from the implementation of the agreement will certainly have serious consequences for relations between us and also for North Macedonia’s road to Europe.”

“Political stability is the main issue today, also because of the geopolitical situation that prevails around us. I do not, on any account, want the legitimacy of the government to continue to implement important reforms to be called into question. I have set the goal and I want us to reach the percentage of the previous European elections,” he noted.

Asked if there is a chance of a position in the European Union for him at some point, he answered: “I want to represent Greece in Europe and not Europe in Greece. I have put an end to the relevant discussion and I have said that it is an honour for the country that the possibility of assuming a European position is being discussed, but this is not something that concerns me.”