It is not by chance that in some capitals they call us tough, said Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias in an interview with the Sunday edition of Ethnos newspaper.
In his interview Kotzias referred to all the pending issues concerning the Greek diplomacy from the Turkish demands in the Aegean, the Tsam issue as well as the Cyprus issue.
The Aegean will not be anyone’s award, he said noting that the course of nationalism bidding wherever it comes from should end” because the Greek diplomacy will not allow “the policy of peace to be misunderstood as policy of retreat and appeasement” said the Greek Foreign Minister adding that the Greek diplomacy deals with the rise of specific revisionism in the Turkish political stage after the return of elements of nationalism from many sides with calmness and self confidence and with a long-term look. We do not underestimate it but we do not overestimate it either” he noted.
Asked on the possibility of a hot incident in the Aegean he said that “efforts deriving from some circles of the Turkish elite to set into question the international law and Greece’s sovereignty rights still exist” however he said that “these plans have no luck with us, we have an excellent defence and diplomacy” said Kotzias adding that
“Greece knows what it wants and how to prevent these kind of incidents”.
On the abolition of visa for Turkish citizens, he reiterated that Greece supports the implementation of the agreement.
On the so-called Tsam issue, he said that Greece did not accept Albania’s request to discuss this nonexistent problem adding that voices of realism and cooperation exist in Albania and that the objective interests of both countries demand good relations.
Kotzias said that the foreign policy is not for exercising public relations. It is for responsible, reasonable patriots that take care of the country’s interests. “We become again a country with foreign policy that is respected. With a serious policy with a series of initiatives. We have established five new regional and international institutions in the last year”.
Asked it Greece is the recipient of pressure from abroad to step back in issues related with Albania or Fyrom, Kotzias said “it is not by chance that in some capitals they call us tough” noting that “a week ago we vetoed” and reminded to all that EU should follow the rules of justice and this is that makes it different from other regional cooperations and unions. Last year in June 2015 a day before my first visit to Fyrom I vetoed against this country. This year I vetoed against sanctions on Fyrom”.
Referring to Cyprus issue, Kotzias reiterated that ‘fundamental in the Cyprus issue is the foreign occupation in the name of a guarantees system” adding that the compromises must be good and not rotten. “The mandatory in order a solution to be found is the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops from the island” and called needless and dangerous an agreement on the gradual withdrawal with and open deadline because” an open date means legalisation and perpetuation of the presence of the occupation troops which is direct admission of the non-solution of Cyprus issue”.