Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias reiterated Greece’s security concerns over Germany’s refusal to ban submarine exports to Turkey, during a meeting with Germany’s Social Democratic Party MP Nils Schmid on Wednesday.
Dendias said that Greece is “disappointed, to say the least” about SPD’s voting against a bill that bans exporting submarines to Turkey, adding that delivering submarines to a country that continues to destabilize the region would change the balance of power to the detriment of states that seek stability and respect international rules.
As far as Greece is concerned, the Turkish threat comprises “an existential challenge,” Dendias stressed according to diplomatic sources, while he noted that the European Union should level with the circumstances.
He also reiterated Greece’s disappointment at not being invited to the second Berlin ministerial conference on Libya, according to the same sources. The Greek minister stressed the geographical proximity of Greece to Libya, and the fact that Greece converses with those who play an institutional role in that country. Greece is also one of few countries that has an embassy in Tripoli and a consulate general in Benghazi, and participates in the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) program in Libya.
A special mention was made by Dendias of the fact that Greece is the only country in the region where the Muslim population has not been affected by extremist elements. He emphasized the need to work with other countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, to support a moderate Islam in the Balkans.
Greece nurtures a historical gratitude to SPD, Dendias highlighted, as both former German Chancellors Helmut Schmidt and Willy Brandt supported then Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis during the country’s EU accession process 40 years ago.
Finally, Dendias mentioned the issue of World War II reparations to Greece, which he said Greece continues to believe is unresolved, and the public’s sensitivity on the issue.