The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy Josep Borrell said Europe stands committed to protecting Greece’s sovereignty from Turkey’s threats.
Borrell made the comments during his meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at Maximos Mansion on Wednesday, whilst also condemning Turkey’s use the use of the migration crisis for political reasons, particularly to exert political pressure on the EU.
Υποδέχτηκα στην Αθήνα, μετά την επίσκεψή του στον Έβρο, τον Ύπατο Εκπρόσωπο της Ε.Ε. για Θέματα Εξ. Πολιτικής και Πολιτικής Ασφάλειας, @JosepBorrellF. Η Eυρωπαϊκή Ένωση στέκεται στο πλευρό της Ελλάδας καθώς υπερασπιζόμαστε τα κυριαρχικά μας δικαιώματα. https://t.co/fEVJAZEOwd pic.twitter.com/NhpEH4RMqr
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) June 24, 2020
Borrell, who visited the Kastanies Greek-Turkish border crossing station at Evros earlier on Wednesday with Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias, reaffirmed that the EU is committed to the protection of Greece’s sovereignty. He also referred to the overflights of Turkish fighter jets into Greek air space and Turkey’s announcements of illegal drilling in the East Mediterranean.
The EU official also noted however the importance of building a basic level of dialogue and trust with Ankara, an issue he said he had discussed extensively earlier with Dendias.
“For our part, we were also very clear, I hope, in expressing not only European solidarity but also our commitment to Greece, to protecting your sovereignty, your external borders, which are also the external borders of the whole of the European Union,” he emphasised.
Also had opportunity to visit Greek-Turkish border.
EU interests, border protection, and regional dialogue and stability: this is what we are working on. pic.twitter.com/e39Ayml0wi
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) June 24, 2020
He also assured Athens that one of his most important missions is to improve relations with Turkey, and “protect the rights and interests of the European Union, of Greece and Cyprus.”
“Greece is the EU member in whose best interest it is to have good relations with Turkey, perhaps more than any other EU member state, and I believe we must collaborate to achieve this aim” and return to the old normalcy, he said.
Mitsotakis expressed his satisfaction with the fact that the EU stands by Greece “as we defend our sovereign rights,” and that it recognises that the sovereign rights of Greece and Cyprus, two EU member states, are being violated. The Greek premier also expressed Greece’s intention to maintain open channels of communication with Turkey.