PM Mitsotakis: Greece will never give up efforts to find ways of collaboration with Turkey

The experience of the coronavirus pandemic “proves that our collective reaction can succeed, and this is what we must do about the climate as well,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Friday.

In his address at the 76th UN General Assembly, the Greek premier said that it was the first time the planet “came together to produce several and safe vaccines quickly,” which the European Union purchased and distributed fairly based on population rates to its member states.

Greece is committed to managing the climate crisis effectively, he added, noting that the country paid a great price with the catastrophic fires of the summer, with which other countries helped.

Relations with Turkey must be based on International Law, “but Greece is facing an illegal casus belli,” he said speaking of the neighboring country. Differences on maritime zones have already been resolved through agreements with Italy and Egypt, and this is proof that resolution is possible through International Law.

“The tension that Turkey cultivated last year must not be repeated,” he said, stressing that “Greece will continue to defend its sovereignty and sovereign rights while simultaneously continuing to seek sectors of collaboration with Turkey,” like the climate crisis and the migration issue. Greece will never abandon these efforts to seek collaboration with its neighboring country, he said.

“There are a lot the two countries can achieve together,” Mitsotakis noted, but added he is “less optimistic” about resolving the Cyprus issue because Turkey continues to ignore UN resolutions.

In terms of the European Union, the Greek premier said that Europe “must do more things by itself, but certainly not to the detriment of trans-Atlantic ties.” The EU must additionally meet its obligations at the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Slovenia in October towards these countries’ accession path in Europe.

“Greece was always an advocate of Western Balkan countries’ accession to the EU – but to be honest, little has been done in that direction,” he said.