Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with his Bulgarian and North Macedonian counterparts on the sidelines of the 4th Thessaloniki Summit on Thursday.
In his meeting with North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, Mitstotakis reiterated his criticism of the Prespes Agreement, but also stressed his commitment to the EU accession of Western Balkan countries.
Both Mitsostakis and Zaev focused on the recent results of the European Council (October 17-18), “with the prime minister reaffirming Greece’s consistent stance over the years in support of the European Enlargement Policy in the West Balkans, which will contribute to securing peace, stability and prosperity in the greater region,” a statement from Mitsotakis’s office said.
“Greece has played and will continue to play an active role in every direction to security this process,” the statement said.
Both also expressed their wish for boosting further economic and trade relations between Greece and North Macedonia, and on implementing projects that facilitate connectivity in the region to the benefit of bilateral trade.
On his part Zaev expressed appreciation for the Greek PM’s support during negotiations at the recent European Council decision to defer the start of accession talks for his country and for Albania.
“We are friends and will continue to be friends,” Zaev said, revealing that he had invited Mitsotakis to visit North Macedonia, hopefully soon, and that Greek Ministers would be visiting Skopje by the end of 2019.
In his meeting with his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisso, the Greek PM reaffirmed Greece’s long-standing support for the EU accession prospects of Western Balkan countries, which, as he said, contributes to regional stability, peace and prosperity. He also stated that he is ready to take initiatives in this direction, as long as candidate countries comply with conditions.
Borisso and Mitsotakis also discussed the migration crisis and Turkey’s illegal actions in the Aegean Sea, collaborations in the fields of energy, investments and infrastructural connectivity.
Both leaders decided that the Greek-Bulgarian High Level Cooperation Council will be held in Kavala, Northern Greece, in February 2020.