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Statements of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Kotzias, to Greek media correspondents during his visit to Italy (Rome, 20.12.2017)
JOURNALIST: Can you tell us about the results of your visit to Rome and your talks with your counterpart, Mr. Alfano?
N. KOTZIAS: We talked about issues of concern to both countries. In particular, we focused on our energy cooperation. We also discussed the potential for a future agreement on maritime zone issues. We talked about the current situation in the world. Beyond the discussion of our bilateral issues, the Italian side asked me about our positions on the changes taking place in the world, our view on the new Administration in the United States of America, as well as China’s future role. I responded in great detail, and that is why our press conference was delayed.
JOURNALIST: Do you feel Italy is close to us on the issue of the future of Europe, that of a social Europe?
N. KOTZIAS: I think the two countries’ positions are close. As you know, on my initiative, with Hungary as the host, we had the meeting of the ten (10) in Budapest two weeks ago, with the four Visegrad countries, the four Balkan EU member states, Slovenia and Serbia. Three months from now, in Greece, we will be hosting a meeting of these European states with all of the candidate countries – the Western Balkan candidates and Turkey. I also invited my Italian colleague to take part in the meeting in Athens if he wants to – and I think he does.
JOURNALIST: One last question, on the Dublin regulation and the Visegrad countries that are pulling away. Does Rome share our positions?
N. KOTZIAS: I think Italy and Greece are the countries with the greatest experience – and on-the-ground experience – of the real problems arising from the migration and the influx of refugees and our positions are close. I want to underscore something that I say frequently: Those paying the consequences are not the ones carrying out the bombings.