Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stressed on Thursday, in a doorstep statement as he arrived for the European Political Community summit, that respect for international law and protection of human rights must be "the cornerstone supporting this new effort."
Mitsotakis also referred to the migration issue, against the backdrop of two more tragic shipwrecks of migrant vessels in the Aegean on Thursday, expressing deep sorrow for the loss of human lives and calling for deeper cooperation to avoid similar incidents in the future.
The prime minister's full statement is as follows:
"In these very difficult times, the European Political Community is a new forum that brings all the countries of the continent together with the aim of promoting our common security and prosperity.
"It is self-evident that such a community of countries must be based on common values, which we must all share. Respect for international law, the fundamental protection of human rights must be the cornerstone supporting this new effort.
"I sincerely hope that all the countries who are participating today and may participate in the future share these common values, not just in words but in actions.
"On another note, I would like to express my deep sorrow for the loss of human lives this morning and late last night in two different shipwrecks in the Aegean, in spite of the heroic efforts of the Greek coast guard.
"I believe the time has come to truly cooperate in a much more substantial way, in order to avoid a repetition of such incidents in the future and to completely eradicate the smugglers who prey upon innocent people, desperate people, who try to reach the European continent in vessels which are clearly not seaworthy."