Greece expects FYROM to meet its commitments, Pavlopoulos says in Kozani

Greece strives for good neighbour relations and friendship, while supporting FYROM’s prospects of joining NATO, on condition that its northern neighbour fulfills all necessary obligations on its own part, President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos said on Wednesday, in a message directed to Skopje.

Speaking in the northern Greek city of Kozani, where he was made an honorary citizen, Pavlopoulos stressed that FYROM must first resolve the name dispute in accordance with history and international law, as well as finalise the changes to its Constitution that have been agreed.

“Only when this process is finally and irrevocably complete – and on this there can be no short cuts – and only after it is ascertained that the revision of the constitution includes all guarantees, only then will an invitation to join NATO be possible, as well as the start of substantive talks for FYROM’s accession to the EU,” he said.

He also underlined that the Prespes Agreement “must be interpreted according to its letter” and only when all the processes were completed and final can it be brought to the Greek Parliament for ratification.

Regarding Turkey, Pavlopoulos again noted Greece’s desire for friendship and good neighbour relations, as well as its support for Turkey’s European prospects, on condition that Turkey showed “sincere respect for the European acquis – of which the NATURA 2000 programme is an inseparable component – and the sum of international law.”

He said that the Lausanne Treaty was clear and must be respected, that it cannot be revised and that it left no room for ‘grey zones’. He also urged Turkey to respect the Law of the Sea and EEZs, on the basis of the 1982 Montego Bay treaty.

“It is inconceivable that the Republic of Cyprus, a full member of the European Union, should have the limited sovereignty that would arise with occupation troops and anachronistic third-party guarantees,” he said, noting that the Cyprus issue was an international and also a European problem.

He repeated that Greece is an EU member-state in the inner core of the Eurozone and a “consistent ally” within NATO, which defends its national issues on the basis of international and European law.

The president also inaugurated the new building of the Kozani municipal library, saying it would act as an “ark for our history and a compass for the future of our country.”