Greek PM: Turkey is welcome to give up its imperial dreams

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in an interview today with Ynet in Israel, has said that "Turkey is welcome to give up its imperial pipe-dreams and become part of our area of cooperation, but only as an equal and lawful partner, not as the neighbourhood bully."

When asked what the purpose of his visit to Israel was, Mitsotakis said to signal Greece's strategic partnership with Israel "and the deep emotional bond between Greeks and Israelis."

Mitsotakis highlighted that the two countries are celebrating 30 years since the establishment of full diplomatic relations.

"The cooperation between our countries is reaching unprecedented heights" and that "the cooperation between Greece and Israel, in such turbulent times, is instrumental in strengthening stability, security and prosperity, to the benefit of our peoples and of the Eastern Mediterranean," he said.

"The partnership of Greece and Israel has been indeed systematically built over the course of the last 30 years. We now give a fresh impetus to the elevated, strategic partnership of our countries," Mitsotakis added.

When asked about the EastMed pipeline, a trilateral gas supply plan signed this year between Israel, Greece and Cyprus, the Greek Prime Minister said that "projects such as EastMed have a huge collective benefit, both for our countries and for the wider region, and its implementation will make a real contribution to the security of the European Union’s energy supply."

He emphasised that the EastMed project does not turn against or exclude anyone, including Turkey.

"Regional cooperation is always open to all. However, with one basic pre-condition: To respect international law and the principles of good neighbourliness," he said.

Ynet asked whether Greece expects help from Israel in dealing with Turkey, prompting Mitsotakis to say that "Turkey is undermining stability in the region. It aims to control politically and militarily the entire area of Eastern Mediterranean."

"In their own words, they want to have a say, they want to be the determining factor, in any decision made for and in our region. This is unacceptable for all countries cherishing their sovereignty and independence, for which they fought," he said, adding "Turkey is welcome to give up its imperial pipe-dreams and become part of our area of cooperation. But, only as an equal, lawful partner, not as the neighbourhood bully."