“The 1821 national revolution constituted the ‘resurrection’ of our country as it has led to the abolition of the long-suffering enslavement of our ancestors under the Ottoman yoke and the creation of the modern Greek state,” Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos stressed in his message to expatriate Hellenism on the occasion of the national anniversary.
Pavlopoulos also referred extensively to current issues:
“Nowadays, Greece is a force for peace and security in the Balkans and in the wider region of the southeastern Mediterranean, which respects European and international law in its entirety. Thus, it seeks friendship and cooperation with all its neighbours, while at the same time it aspires, as an integral member of the European Union and of its inner core, the eurozone, to actively participate in the construction of a federal-type Europe, in terms of representative democracy and respect for the rule of law.
“These are the basic principles, which govern the international behavior of our country with regard to stability and consistency, in our individual relations with our neighboring countries:
“With regard to Turkey: We seek friendship and good neighbourly relations. However, the relationship of friendship and good neighbourliness with Turkey, as well as its European perspective – which we, the Greeks, favour – depend on full respect for all international and European law. In particular, full respect for the Lausanne Treaty, the 1947 Treaty of Paris and the Law of the Sea, which binds Turkey in the form of generally accepted rules of international law, applied in its entirety and not selectively. In addition, the Treaty of Lausanne, which enshrines the borders, territory and sovereignty of both Greece and the European Union, cannot be revised or updated and is absolutely clear without leaving any doubt about “grey zones”. Under these circumstances, Turkey must understand and respect that Greece and the European Union favour its European perspective, but they also have the will and the power to defend, immediately and effectively, their borders, territory and sovereignty.”
He also made special reference to the Skopje issue:
“We support FYROM’s path to NATO and the European Union. This, however, for reasons of respect for history, international law and the European acquis requires a prior solution regarding its name, which will contain the necessary guarantees for the eradication of irredentism.”
And concluded his message with Cyprus:
“It is also our ongoing duty not to forget Cyprus. A fair and viable solution must be ensured for Cyprus, which continues to face the tragedy of Turkish military occupation of its territories, a solution that will be fully in line with international and European law.”