Greek PM raises Turkey’s long standing provocations at 6th South EU Summit

w14 212508TsiprasVallettaJun2019

w14 212508TsiprasVallettaJun2019

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras raised the issue of Turkey’s long standing provocations relating to Greece’s and Cyprus’ sovereignty at the 6th South EU Summit, held in Valletta, Malta on Friday.

The summit was attended by the government leaders of Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain who convened to discuss both regional and global issues.

The leaders discussed changes in the leadership of the European Union, Turkey's relationship with the EU and its illegal actions in Cyprus' EEZ, the EU's expansion in the western Balkans, and developments in the Middle East, with emphasis on Libya. Other issues include the refugee crisis and the Multiannual Financial Framework of the European Union for 2021-2027. Climate change was also discussed at the summit.

During the summit, Alexis Tsipras stressed the importance of Ankara's respect for good neighbourly relations and international law as important prerequisites in EU-Turkish relations. He expressed the need for a sustainable solution to the Cyprus issue and also confirmed his joint support with the President of the Republic of Cyprus the EU's strict warnings to Turkey concerning its recent unauthorized actions in the Aegean Sea and Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone.

With regard to the refugee crisis, Tsipras was expected to emphasise the need for a European, collective solution based on co-responsibility and solidarity, with respect for international law. He was also expected to underline that all proposals concerning the reform of the Common European Asylum System are interlinked and that there can be no talk of solidarity without the balanced redistribution of asylum seekers among member states.

Finally the Greek PM emphasised the importance of the implementation of the Prespes Agreement in stability and prosperity in Southeast Europe, noting he will support the speedy start of EU accession negotiations for the Republic of North Macedonia, in recognition of the important reform efforts of Greece's neighbouring government.