Member of Parliament for Chania, Manousos Voloudakis, made an passionate plea to the the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Lisbon, calling out Turkish aggression and how US-led sanctions are making ordinary Syrian citizens suffer.
On Facebook, the MP highlighted that he had the opportunity to highlight violations of international law by Turkey and the essence of the Cyprus problem, as well as his involvement in a report on the role of NATO in the security of the Mediterranean.
“The report touches on many issues of our relations with Turkey, with many problematic formulations for us,” Voloudakis said
“I have highlighted the fact that Turkey’s positions on the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) are in direct conflict with International Maritime Law, in particular Article 121 (2) of the UNCLOS Treaty, which recognises the continental shelf and the EEZ on the islands.
“I emphasized that most incidents of tension and friction were due to Turkey’s refusal to accept international law on this issue.”
Speaking about the Cyprus issue, he also highlighted its international dimension, emphasising that it is impossible to forget that the Cyprus issue is one of an EU member being partially occupied “by third country military forces,” ie. Turkey.
MP Voloudakis explained that there are two reasons why Greek MPs are generally in a difficult position regarding the Greek-Turkish ones in the framework of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
“First, for each of us who speaks, two or three Turks oppose, as we have seven members and the Turks have 18 (with corresponding results in the polls).
“Secondly, the truth is that the representatives of other countries usually have a limited interest in the conflicts between Greeks and Turks, while the presidents of the meetings try to limit relevant discussions.
“But we insist, as we should!”
In the same parliamentary session, Voloudakis called for “the policy of sanctions against the Assad regime imposed by the US and the EU” to be reviewed.
“They have caused a humanitarian crisis in Syria, as they have led to shortages and dramatic appreciation of basic goods, without ultimately shaking the Assad regime.
“This humanitarian crisis is also pushing more and more Syrians to take the path of illegal immigration, increasing flows to Greece as well, and giving Turkey the opportunity to use them as a foreign policy tool.”
The video of Voloudakis’ position in the Commission: