Greece is willing to build on the positive climate with Turkey but there has to be a corresponding response, Greek Foreign Affairs Minister George Gerapetritis said on Thursday during a discussion of the EU Foreign Affairs Council with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the latter through teleconference.
Gerapetritis also said that Greece and Turkey will be preparing their next steps of collaboration following their meeting at the NATO Summit in Vilnius.
The Greek FM underlined Greece’s belief that NATO’s unity is necessary especially now, and that defending Ukraine is a matter of principle. He also repeated Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ announcement that Greece will contribute 2.5 million euros to the total support package for Ukraine.
Greece acts as a bridge in the southern neighbourhood of Europe, Gerapetritis added, and expressed the hope that all countries in the East Mediterranean region will follow the example of good relations forged by Greece with Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and other countries.
At the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, Gerapetritis also briefed his EU counterparts of the meeting between Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the Vilnius summit.
“A fundamental condition for any boosted collaboration between the EU and Turkey is peace and stability in the East Mediterranean. We cannot talk about improving relations under a state of threats, violations of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the fundamental principles of the UN Charter and International Law in general,” said Gerapetritis.
The Greek minister referred to today’s 49th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and said, “What we are seeing today in Ukraine happened in Cyprus half an eon ago. The solution must be based on related UN Security Council resolutions and be in line with the European acquis. The European Union, according to recent results of the European Council as well, must play a more active role.”