President Pavlopoulos: ‘There are no grey zones in the Aegean’

Greece extends a hand of friendship and desires Turkey’s European course but its borders are absolutely clear and no dispute of the Lausanne Treaty can be tolerated, President of the Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos stressed on Thursday, while speaking on the island of Samothrace.

“There are no grey zones in the Aegean, this has to be understood. I don’t know when and how they came up with this idea but they must forget this, otherwise there can be no possibility of either friendship or good neighbourliness, nor progress toward the EU,” Pavlopoulos said.

“We once again make clear to our friend and neighbour Turkey that any dispute of the Lausanne Treaty is a violation of international law that irreparably compromises its standing as a member of the international community and as a candidate member-state of the European Union,” he added.

Pavlopoulos was speaking during a ceremony naming him an honorary citizen of Samothrace, which is celebrating the 105th anniversary since its liberation from Ottoman rule in 1913.

While Greece was prepared to support Turkey’s European course, “acting as its door and window to the West and the EU,” it was also determined to defend its borders, territorial integrity and national sovereignty, which were also the borders, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the EU, Pavlopoulos noted.

“On this we are relentless and let no one dream of doubting this, because they will be given the corresponding reply. I stress again, we are friends and neighbours; let us live in peace so that Turkey can travel its European path but the Lausanne Treaty is the cornerstone of our relations and of relations with Europe,” he said.

Any dispute of the Lausanne Treaty constituted an unacceptable threat against the borders of Greece and the EU and “for this reason will neither be tolerated nor left unanswered,” Pavlopoulos stressed.