EU member states should “follow France’s example and not supply arms to countries that threaten war,” especially when those threats are directed against fellow EU countries, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Friday.
His comments were interpreted as a veiled criticism of Spain, whose prime minister held talks earlier this week with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on defense cooperation.
Speaking after his meeting with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, in Athens, Dendias also underlined the “timeless excellent ties between Greece and France,” making a special reference to the Strategic Partnership Agreement which, as he said, is the capstone of Greek-French bilateral relations.
He also made clear that the agreement with France does not threaten anyone.
The two ministers also discussed EU matters and the upcoming French presidency and its priorities. On his part, Dendias reassured Le Drian that Greece will do whatever is possible for the French presidency to succeed.
They also discussed the very worrying situation in the Sahel and the risk the instability will spread in the wider region: “Greece shares France’s worries over the Sahel and is closely monitoring developments via the new Greek Embassy in Senegal,” he said.
Dendias expressed Greece’s will to strengthen its relationship with African countries, stating that he will next week visit Gabon, to which Greece will donate vaccines.
On developments in the Western Balkans, Dendias expressed his dissatisfaction at the pace of EU integration. Both ministers agreed to send countries wishing to join the EU a message on their European perspective. Dendias also reiterated that he supports the commencement of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia before the end of the year.
On the issue of Libya, Dendias thanked the French Minister for Greece’s invitation to the very successful Paris Conference.
Finally, the two foreign ministers had a detailed discussion on matters concerning the Mediterranean, with emphasis on safety and stability. [AMNA, Kathimerini]