Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed his commitment to a sincere and bona fide dialogue with Turkey, during the 66th Annual Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
It is being held online between November 18-23.
“I am sorry that we cannot meet in the city that gave birth to many of the ideals that founded modern democracy 2,500 years ago. The pandemic may separate us physically, but thanks to technology we can – at least – be together for the next five days of this important work in support of NATO,” he stated in his opening remarks.
He went on to note that Greece has been a member of this Alliance since 1952 and is now “facing challenges that undermine NATO unity.”
“The allies cannot cooperate with jihadist groups. They cannot test S-400. These practices undermine NATO’s values and undermine NATO’s solidarity, cohesion, unity and effectiveness as a political and military organisation, while undermining the Alliance’s own goals and defence interests,” the Greek PM added.
Greece has been on the receiving end of specific security challenges and unilateral actions by Turkey, which have undermined NATO‘s unity throughout 2020, including a confrontation in the Mediterranean for 35 days, “a situation that endangered the security and stability of the southern wing of the alliance.”
“As I have said many times this year, Greece and Turkey should talk and -if we do not agree- then we should settle our disputes by appealing to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, and let the rule of law prevail. We are sincerely committed to conducting a dialogue in good faith,” he continued.
In his concluding remarks, Mitsotakis said that he has been waiting for quite some time for Turkey to exhibit this spirit of reciprocity, and warned that “if our calls to dialogue remain unanswered, then it will be inevitable for the European Union to take steps to safeguard its strategic interests and the interests of its member states.”
Watch the Greek Prime Minister’s speech here: