Greek PM to Turkey: If you want dialogue, prove it in practice

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis described the Euro-Mediterranean MED7 Conference as a complete success in his statements after its completion.

He warmly thanked his friend French President Emmanuel Macron for “the excellent preparation, the warm hospitality, but also for the extremely fruitful bilateral meeting,” where he informed his interlocutors about immigration and the recent sad events in Moria.

Mitsotakis thanked the other leaders for their practical support to Greece in this difficult crisis, noting that the first concern was the care of unaccompanied minors. “Our priority is health for all. We will take all necessary measures to manage this crisis effectively and with humanity,” he said.

“But at some point, we have to face reality. You know that Greece, like other countries in the south of Europe, bears the unbearable weight of a European problem. And today, Europe must move from words of support to acts of solidarity,” he said, adding that he agreed with the French President’s framework for a common immigration and asylum policy.

The PM also said they discussed the issue of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and the role of Turkey. “The conclusions of the meeting in paragraph 6 send a very clear message. They show if Turkey really wants an honest dialogue with Greece, Cyprus and the EU, it must prove it in practice. To stop unilateral actions, to give convincing signs that it respects international rules. As far as we are concerned, this is what we have been saying for a long time: end of challenges and beginning of discussions.”

“We will prevent Turkey from attempting to divide Europe. And as I had the opportunity to write today in the European press, support in Greece and Cyprus is not just an expression of solidarity. It is a recognition of the fact that, from now on, strategic interests for Europe itself are at stake,” he said, noting that Turkey has time to take a step back.

Mitsotakis also said that they were concerned how the problem of migrants can be used as a lever of geopolitical aspirations of the neighbouring country and said that the return to the 2016 agreement is imperative. “For the protection of the borders and the management of the refugees, Greece does its duty by guarding the European borders. This is only one aspect of the issue. Today more than ever, practical solidarity is required,” he stressed.

In conclusion, he said: “This is the first time I have personally attended a MED7 Summit and I can say that since its inception it has never had to face so many complex challenges. But, I think our consensus has never been so strong and I am sure, that next year when it will be hosted in Greece, specifically in my place of origin, Crete, all things will be much more optimistic.

MED7 leaders express full support & solidarity with Greece and Cyprus

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