Mitsotakis: Turkey must be consistent in de-escalating East Med tensions

Mitsotakis: Turkey must be consistent in de-escalating East Med tensions

The prime minister has said that Turkey must show consistency in de-escalating tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and must avoid actions that would provoke a setback both in Greek-Turkish and EU-Turkish relations.

Speaking upon arrival at a meeting of the European Council in Brussels on Thursday, Kyriakos Mitsotakis said improving EU-Turkish relations must be done in a “gradual and reversible way in case Turkey returns to a provocative stance”, adding that he was in favour of the draft conclusions of the last European Council summit in March concerning Turkey.

Mitsotakis said his government supports the financing of refugees programmes for humanitarian reasons in Turkey provided that Turkey avoids “any instrumentalization of refugees and immigrants” and “accepts the return to Turkey of people who are currently on the Greek islands and the asylum applications have been finally rejected.”

On the Cyprus issue, the prime minister said that “the only solution to the Cyprus problem can be found in the framework of the bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality.”

“Any discussion of a solution regarding the creation of two separate states is rejected in principle because it contradicts all the decisions of the UN Security Council but also the European acquis.”

Turning to the coronavirus issue, he said: “We expect the immediate activation of the European Certificate by all countries from 1 July so as to allow the free movement of citizens within the EU as comfortably as possible.”

Expressing his concern at the rise in the infection rate of the Delta mutation in all countries, including Greece, Mitsotakis said: “I want to repeat a very simple message conveyed yesterday by the leading American epidemiologist Mr. Fauci. ‘You’re vaccinated, you’re safe. You’re unvaccinated, you’re at risk. Simple as that.’”

“At the moment we have a surplus of available vaccines for all ages in our country and I want to make another appeal to our fellow citizens to hurry to be vaccinated so that we can build the wall of immunity as soon as possible.”


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