FM Kotzias outlines the efforts of Greek diplomacy

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias outlined the efforts of the Greek diplomacy as well as its estimates on key issues concerning Greek foreign policy in an interview with SKAI TV late on Tuesday.

On the issue of the two Greek soldiers detained in a Turkish jail, he said that it is an ‘unprecedented’ event between two NATO armies fighting for ideas, principles and values. He estimated that “this behavior shows Turkey’s change of perception”, while stressing that they “are not in a position to negotiate as some people may think.”

He underlined the great difference between the “eight” Turkish servicemen who came to Greece to seek asylum, and the two Greeks arrested by the Turks “against their will and the will of the state they serve.”

As for their return, he said that there is “a problem of legal culture” in Turkey, as the two Greek servicemen “there have been almost two months and no indictment has been made.”

Asked whether Turkey has violated Greek “red lines”, the Foreign Minister said that “once or twice they were close to do so. However, they did not violate them.”

Regarding the EEZ, talks are underway “with three countries at the moment”: Egypt, Albania and Italy. With regard to Albania, he expressed the hope that an agreement will be reached by early June and added that the Foreign Ministry’s goal is to reach an agreement with Italy too.

Asked on Turkey, he referred to the two channels of talks that have not been followed up in the last one and a half years, and in particular in the exploratory discussions on the implementation of the international law on the continental shelf in the Aegean. “I think we will talk again about these issues,” he said, stressing the importance of “our relations being based on sobriety and a discussion on international law, rather than tension without discussion.”