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Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias’ statements to ERT Television, following the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council (Brussels, 26 February 2018)
JOURNALIST: Mr. Minister, on Friday we had a stern statement from Mr. Tusk regarding Turkey’s stance in the Aegean and in the Cypriot EEZ. Does this clear statement from the Europeans on Turkey’s conduct help to improve the climate between Greece and Turkey, and to accelerate, if you will, the confidence-building measures?
N. KOTZIAS: I think it was the most precise and best statement ever made by the European Union concerning Greek-Turkish relations, because it makes it plain and clear that good neighbourly relations and respect for international law are the conditions for any European course for Turkey.
Today, in the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, we talked about the Moldova issue, about the issues with Venezuela, and – much more extensively – about the developments in the Middle East. We had the honour and pleasure of having (with us) six Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Arab states together with the leaders of the League of Arab States.
JOURNALIST: Mr. Minister, the President of the European Commission and the Commissioner responsible for the Enlargement are currently touring the Western Balkans. The question from the Greek side is, how fast are the negotiations with the Skopje going, and whether you find that the two sides are on the same wavelength of accepting a process for reaching a consensus on the name issue.
N. KOTZIAS: I think that both sides agree that we have to seek a solution. The Skopje side believes that it has to be an easy solution for them, and we believe that it has to be a solution that stands the test of time and a fair one.
JOURNALIST: Are you concerned about Mr. Zaev’s recent statement that any irredentist references eliminated from their Constitution could be brought back at a later stage?
N. KOTZIAS: No, but I think that someone who is to reach an agreement doesn’t question it before reaching it. He favours and supports its attainability and viability.