The Pontian Genocide was a tragic chapter in the history of modern Greeks, and the lessons it holds must prevent its repetition anywhere in the world, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday evening, during opening remarks of the International Conference on the Crime of Genocide.
Mitsotakis said its key contribution lay in its focus on the future, or "how we shall learn from it, how we shall prevent the reliving of similar tragedies in our own lives, anywere in the world."
The historic event, he said, must lead to "results that will arm the modern world to avoid experiencing such brutality again. This willl be a heritage for all of humanity, not just Pontian Hellenism."
He also pledged to work towards bringing international attention on the genocide through the European Parliament and in cooperation with Armenia and Israel.
Commenting on curent relations with Turkey, the prime minister called out Ankara for its aggressiveness in trying "to gain the role of an uncommon regional leader in the wider area" and violating international laws, and he referred to developments in the eastern Mediterranean, including the recent Turkey-Libya memorandum of understanding (MoU).
"It's not the first time Greece faces storms, but it has always had the resilience to overcome them, returning to calmer waters," he said.
"Unity and, above all, cool-headedness are necessary, this is why next week [parliamentary parties] will be fully briefed behind closed doors at the Council of Foreign Policy meeting in Parliament," he added.
The conference, organized by the Pan-Pontian Federation of Greece to commemorate the centennial of the genocide of Pontians by Turkey, iwas held at the Acropolis Museum on Friday and will continue at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center on Saturday and Sunday.