French Senate delegation in Greece to discuss defence alliance and security


A French Senate delegation currently visiting Greece and headed by Gérard Larcher, met with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday, where they discussed the very close cooperation" between Greece and France in the defence sector noting it was based on their broad mutual understanding regarding security in the Eastern Mediterranean and the wider region.

The Greek Prime Minister underlined the strategic importance of the region, among others, as a hub to meet the energy needs of the European Union.

The prime minister also referred to the government's reforms, noting that they had continued despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, and to a broader reorganisation of the economic climate so as to further strengthen Greece's position as an investment destination.

The meeting additionally reviewed bilateral relations, which are at an excellent level, with emphasis on the prospects of deepening them on all levels.

The prime minister praised the Greek-French defence agreement and stressed, among others, to the French senators:

"I believe that the Strategic Partnership Agreement we signed with President Macron puts our bilateral relations at a level that is in line with the depth of our historic relationship."
On his part, Larcher underlined France's will to strengthen the Greek-French partnership.

"We want, together with the (Hellenic) Parliament, to strengthen our partnership," he said.
The two sides discussed the pillars of the French Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2022, which include strengthening Europe's strategic autonomy.

Mitsotakis pointed out that the Greek-French cooperation strengthens the capabilities of NATO, on the one hand, and can act as a basis, at the same time, for strengthening the strategic autonomy of Europe.

The prime minister also pointed out that France is a very important economic partner and one of the main investors in Greece. He referred to the fact that the French companies did not withdraw from Greece during the debt crisis and that there is now great interest in an increase of French investments in Greece.

Mitsotakis briefed Larcher on Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus issue, emphasising that proposals for a two-state solution are in no way a basis for any dialogue.
Referring to the European perspective of the Western Balkans, he said that the accession process should begin as soon as possible and warned that other forces will otherwise try to displace the EU footprint in the region.