All parties attending the National Council on Foreign Policy briefing on the latest developments in Greek-Turkish relations on Tuesday – including Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias – came out of the meeting saying they felt part of an “unbreakable national front” against Turkish aggression.
In statements to the press, Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias said that the parties “exhibited national consensus and concord.”
Dendias said he briefed parties on recent developments and added that collaboration by Greek parties on national issues is the strongest weapon in the country’s diplomatic arsenal.
In comments addressed to Greek society, the minister said, “Greece has self-confidence. It’s a European country within the EU’s hard core and can deal with all issues.”
Katrougalos: Greek foreign policy must acquire direction
SYRIZA MP and former foreign minister George Katrougalos, responsible for foreign policy at the party, said on Tuesday that Greek foreign policy must acquire direction again.
Katrougalos said there is no need to convene a council of political leaders, but the government should follow up on the work laid down by the previous government and exercise pressure on Turkey.
Syriza’s contribution through its proposals aims to “have Greek foreign policy return to the active level it should always be at, and to acquire direction again, and a unified and unbreakable front, in order to be able to deflect the levelling-up of Turkey’s illegal actions.”
“We are asking the government to pick up on our active policy, both in exerting pressure on Turkey and in activating directly the sanctions taken in regard to its illegal activity in Cyprus,” he said, referring to drilling in the Cyprus EEZ. The sanctions should be extended to include the memorandum of understanding Turkey signed on maritime zones, “if the unfounded and invalid agreement with Libya is applied,” he said. The former foreign minister also proposed that summit of southern EU countries be convened.
On the other hand, Katrougalos proposed that “there should be a communication channel with Turkey, immediate confidence-building measures when Turkish aggressiveness ends, and exploratory talks.”
In conclusion, “Only through active foreign policy will we truly be able to promote the country’s interests,” he said.
Loverdos: Council of Political Leaders must convene
Movement for Change (KINAL) MP Andreas Loverdos said the Council of Political Leaders must be convened, as “the situation is beyond normal, tension is specific and difficulties abound.”
He also said that at the Foreign Council, where Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias briefed them on current developments in Greek-Turkish relations, parties exchanged views “but despite specific disagreements, the national front is unbreakable.”
Sakorafa: Greece’s borders are EU’s borders
Also commenting on a “briefing and discussion at an excellent climate,” MeRA25 MP Sofia Sakorafa said that her party’s position is that the issues should be raised with Greece’s EU partners, “as Greece, let’s not forget, also comprises the borders of the EU.”