Pavlopoulos: EU-Arab League relationship can contribute to security in East Mediterranean

Greece places special emphasis on the promotion of the Arab League-European Union relationship, especially in current circumstances, because this collaboration can contribute significantly to security, stability and development in the region, President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos said at a meeting with Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who is in Athens to attend the 4th EU-Arab World Summit.

Speaking of security, Pavlopoulos said that Greece has “an obligation to unequivocally condemn Turkey’s behavior in the region, which is a direct assault on international legality,” citing Turkey’s intervention in Syria, its inhumane treatment of refugees, and the violation of international law by drilling illegally in Cyprus’ EEZ, “which is also an EEZ of the European Union.”

Ahmed Aboul Gheit spoke of the strong relationship of Greece with the Arab League and said this could contribute towards better relations between the EU and the Arab world. He also welcomed Greece’s stance on the Palestinian issue, calling it a model example for other countries of the region.

The secretary general said the Arab world is in crisis, perhaps the greatest it has experienced in the last eons, and is due to internal issues and foreign interventions. The latter, he said, added greater complexity to issues, while additional pressure came from neighbors who work against national issues. “There is the UN, there is the Security Council – all of them must intervene so all these outstanding issues are resolved,” he noted, and expressed the hope that Greece and its respect of international law would help improve circumstances in the region.