Greece extends a hand of friendship and cooperation to all but is determined to defend its territorial rights, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday. He made the statement in a message after attending an Epiphany ceremony for the blessing of the waters in the northeastern port city of Alexandroupolis, also attended by Alternate National Defence Minister Dimitris Vitsas.
“It is no accident that we are here today, in the easternmost major port of the European Union, in Alexandroupolis. Using the opportunity afforded by my own presence here, that of the Alternate National Defence Minister and the chief of the National Defence General Staff, I wish to send a message of friendship, cooperation but also of our determination to defend our rights,” the prime minister said. “We offer a hand of cooperation but at the same time, however, we state our determination to defend our territorial rights, as these arise from international treaties and international law.”
Tsipras noted that Greece offered friendship and cooperation toward all peoples, acting as “a beacon” transmitting the great values of peace, cooperation, solidarity, and love for fellow human beings. This, he noted, made the country a pillar of security and stability in a globally destabilised environment.
He also highlighted the city’s future prospects for becoming a hub for energy, trade and transit goods, saying this future could be built with “unity and vision” and again stressed that Europe’s eastern borders, from Evros to Kastellorizo, were also those of Greece.