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Statement of Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis following today’s meeting of the EU General Affairs Council (Athens, 17 November 2020)

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

“The appeasement policy the EU has followed with Turkey has obviously not produced the desired results. The EU must show that it is an organization that sticks to its decisions. And this has to be made clear at the next Summit Meeting.”

This was the message Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis sent in his statement following today’s meeting of the EU General Affairs Council, which took place via videoconference in preparation for the upcoming meeting of the European Council on 10 and 11 December.

He added that the Union’s leaders should use every means at their disposal to take measures against Turkey. “Otherwise, I don’t think any progress will be made towards reducing the tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and opening the way for a peaceful resolution of the Cyprus issue.”

More specifically, Mr. Varvitsiotis referred to Erdogan’s recent visit to Varosha for a picnic, stressing that “what happened this past weekend was outrageous. He is actually sending the message that he doesn’t care what the EU decides.”

Regarding the issue of EU Enlargement, the Alternate Minister called on North Macedonia and Albania to move ahead towards meeting all of the criteria agreed upon in the March conclusions. He referred in particular to the need for Albania to move ahead with the necessary reforms before the first Intergovernmental Conference, as well as to need for North Macedonia to fully implement the Prespa Agreement.

Finally, the Alternate Minister highlighted that terrorism will not be tolerated in any form and that combating terrorism requires maximum coordination on the European level.

“This is not a matter of ideology. It is a threat to our citizens’ security. And we must be united on this,” he said. Regarding the issue of anti-Semitism, he stressed that it is incompatible with European values and a disgrace to our culture.

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