There is absolutely no plan for Greece to welcome ousted Palestinians: FM Gerapetritis

Gaza refugees greece

There is "absolutely no plan, or thought, for Greece to welcome Palestinians coming from any type of expulsion from Palestine", noted Foreign Affairs Minister George Gerapetritis on Monday.

Speaking at a plenary session, the minister was responding to a question by far-right Spartiates MP Alexandros Zervas, who called on the government to clarify its migration policy against what he called the danger of colonisation by design. Zervas also mentioned the US Ambassador to Greece, George Tsunis, and his recent statement at the Circle Of Ideas conference in Athens. Zervas claimed that Tsunis had talked about giving Greek nationality to migrants after five years of stay.

Granting Greek citizenship is regulated by law according to the Greek Constitution, noted Gerapetritis. "It is not determined by anything else; it is not influenced by any statement of any foreign factor, nor the [US] ambassador in Athens," he added.

There is no such thing as a "directed colonisation", noted the minister, pointing out that it is "precisely the border guarding policy that this government has introduced which has reduced the illegal flow of migrants by 90% over the last 4.5 years."

In response to another question by Plefsi Eleftherias MP Alexandros Kazamias concerning the Greek government's stance on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Palestine, Gerapetritis said he is in contact with both sides and his counterparts.

Kazamias said the Greek government is different from, as he said it should, keeping its distance from the government of Israel regarding the matter.

Here, Gerapetritis said that Greece always stands for peace and the full implementation of International Law. The humanitarian crisis in Palestine, said Gerapetritis, must stop immediately, and this is why Greece supports a humanitarian pause to allow for goods and supplies to reach people there.

Gerapetritis also categorically denied the passage of foreign military forces from Greece through the military airport of Elefsina, as charged by Niki MP Giorgos Rountas.

Replying, the minister pointed out that "Greece has actually been serving as a pillar for humanitarian aid"; therefore ", the stopover of the American aircraft has to do with a humanitarian mission to evacuate civilians from the war-torn region of the Middle East," adding that "no facilities have been made available to American aircraft except for aircraft parking areas."

Turkish FM: Greece-Turkey relations developing in a positive direction

Turkey's relations with Greece are developing in a positive direction, Foreign Affairs Minister Hakan Fidan told the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on Monday.

Fidan said Turkey "will continue to protect its rights and interests in the Aegean and the East Mediterranean assiduously" and said that for his country the priorities were what he described as "the situation of the Turkish minority in Western Thrace and of our diaspora living in the Dodecanese Islands". Referring to the Cyprus issue, he said that a just and permanent solution requires "guaranteeing the sovereign equality and the equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot people."

He also insisted that "if a negotiation takes place, it would not be between the [Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot] communities on the island, but between the two states" of Greece and Turkey, while "the status of the two sides will be made equal before they sit down at the negotiating table."

The Turkish minister told the committee that Turkey wanted to "promote its relations with neighboring Greece through sincere and constructive dialog on the basis of a positive agenda" in order to contribute to the peace, stability, and prosperity of the region. Reviewing the high-level contacts between Greece and Turkey this year, Fidan said the two countries aimed at developing a positive agenda ahead of the December 7 meeting of the bilateral High-Level Cooperation Council in Athens.

READ MORE: Cyprus Proposes Humanitarian Aid Corridor to Gaza, Awaits Green Light Amidst Ongoing Challenges.

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