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Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs Giorgos Katrougalos following the conclusion of the National Council on Foreign Policy (Athens, 19 April 2019)

Friday, 19 April 2019

Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs Giorgos Katrougalos following the conclusion of the National Council on Foreign Policy (Athens, 19 April 2019)G. KATROUGALOS: We held yet another National Council on Foreign Policy session. We are trying to shape a culture of compromise, wherever possible, on the major foreign policy and national security issues, without, however, as I have said on numerous occasions, compromise, meaning co-governance. The Government is responsible for governing the country and exercising foreign policy. Today, the decision focused on a national issue. As you are aware, we have upgraded the country’s prestige with repeated initiatives. However, the time has come to think of how we will be able to systematically practice politics, plan and develop strategic objectives in an institutional manner. This is an effort for the National Security Council. It is the second session, for the reason that we want to have the biggest possible convergence of political powers, which, to a great extent, was achieved today at the National Council on Foreign Policy.

In the next few days, we will be submitting for discussion our entire institutional proposal on the new concept of national security and on the institutional organisation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and we believe that in this manner, we will complete our multi-level external policy efforts.

I also briefed the parties on the current issues, both with regard to Europe and with regard to bilateral relationships. I can say that I was satisfied with the calibre of the discussion and the climate within the National Council.

JOURNALIST: Minister, in his statements, Mr Kotzias said that the Government irresponsibly allowed Mr Kammenos to make an interpellation and politically 'cleansed' him for his election campaign which was fraught with insults. What do you have to say about this?

G. KATROUGALOS: It is the Government’s obligation to be subject to parliamentary scrutiny; an obligation we cannot veer away from. You saw my stance regarding the specific question. Personally, I have no doubt about the moral integrity of Nikos Kotzias.

Thank you very much.

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