Greek concerns over Turkey’s destabilizing role in the wider region was raised Thursday by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias during his meeting Lebanon’s deputy prime minister and defense minister, Zeina Akar.
Dendias referred to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent announcements about the fenced-off town Varosha in Turkish-occupied Famagusta in northern Cyprus, noting that it is “now clear that Turkey is using every tool of destabilization.”
“I do not need to remind anyone that Famagusta is a short distance from Lebanon,” he said, adding that Greece is opposing these efforts by Turkey ”in accordance with international law and good neighborly relations.”
“Of great importance is the International Law of the Sea, UNCLOS, which both Greece and Lebanon have signed and ratified,” he added.
The subject of the meeting between the two ministers was the situation in Lebanon and came after a first relevant discussion a few weeks ago in Rome.
Dendias conveyed the Greek government’s intention to help Lebanon, adding that Greece will will also contribute in support of the Greek Orthodox Hospital of Saint George in Beirut.
“We will continue to support Lebanon within the European Union as well,” he assured, highlighting that Greece was one the countries that emphasized that the new financial aid for Syrian refugees should not be directed only to Turkey but also to Lebanon and Jordan.
The possibility of a Greek contribution to the reconstruction of the Lebanese Foreign Ministry was also discussed.
To this end, a Greek team will travel to Beirut in early September to prepare the required reconstruction study. The two ministers also discussed the possibility of financial support for Lebanon’s University of Balamand.