German war reparations owed to Greece for the Nazi occupation of WWII, as well as Athens’ concerns over the export of German-made submarines to Turkey, were among the issues raised by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in his meeting with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in Athens on Friday.
“For the Greek government and Greek society, the issue of German reparations remains open,” Dendias said, while adding that a settling this issue was a matter of principle and would be mutually beneficial for both countries, significantly improving Greek-German relations.
He also relayed Athens’ concerns about the exports of German armaments to Turkey, especially the submarines, stressing that the Greek position was clear: “These submarines risk changing the balance of power.”
Dendias pointed out that while Greece had the same submarines, it was “neither threatening its neighbours nor behaving as a revisionist force”.
The Greek Foreign Minister also noted that Turkey, despite being a member of NATO, was openly threatening Greece with war, constantly violating its sovereignty and sovereign rights, as well as illegally occupying the territory of Cyprus, an EU member-state.
“The islands of the Aegean are Greek territory and no one has the right to dispute this,” Baerbock underlined, on her part.
“My own government will not allow there to be any doubt that we stand in solidarity,” she added.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met on Friday with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, Annalena Baerbock.
During the meeting, issues of bilateral, regional and international interest were discussed, such as energy, developments in the war in Ukraine, Turkish provocation and migration.
Mitsotakis presented Greece’s positions on dealing with the energy crisis and on the need to take measures so that energy markets can return to normal operation, while they also exchanged views on his recent proposal for the creation of a pan-European mechanism for reducing consumption in industry by offering compensation.
The prime minister reiterated that the energy price crisis is a European problem that requires a European solution. In addition, he presented the initiatives undertaken by the government in order to become a gateway for the transfer of energy to the EU.
During the meeting, views were exchanged on the latest developments regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the coordination of European actions to support Kiev.
The prime minister informed the German foreign minister about the latest developments in Greek-Turkish relations. He reiterated Greece’s firm position that channels of communication with Turkey should be open, but only on the basis of international law and good neighbourly relations.
He underlined, however, that provocations and disputes of sovereignty by Turkey pose a threat to regional stability and cannot be tolerated by either Greece or the EU.
Regarding migration, an issue that concerns all of Europe, the prime minister reiterated that Greece guards its borders, which are also European borders, with respect for international law and human rights.