A firm goal and intention of Greek foreign policy are “to make Turkey realize, through our commitment to international legitimacy and the allied states, that respect for international law is the only answer to the problems,” said Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in his speech at the virtual conference on Greek Foreign Policy organized by the Hellenic Society of International Law and International Relations.
“Dialogue is a guarantee of easing tensions. However, it does not cure the causes,” stressed the minister while making special reference to the provocative Turkish behavior in Greece and Cyprus in the previous period.
“Greece has the misfortune to be neighbors with a systematically delinquent neighbor and the fortune to be in the European Union, which is a lure and a fear for Turkey, thus creating a kind of protection zone,” he noted, “But not an absolute one.”
“If you ask me if we are satisfied, I will tell you that we would like the European Union to take a tougher line on Turkey. But the EU is a union of 27 countries.
It functions, fortunately, based on unanimity. Sometimes, the national interest prevails over the European one. However, it does not cease to be a very powerful, perhaps, the most powerful, weapon of ours,” he pointed out.
As he stated, “the fear of European sanctions, in combination with other parameters, led to the cessation of the major Turkish challenges during the second half of 2020 and made it possible to start a dialogue/exploratory talks with Turkey, specifically the 61st round.” “The 62nd will follow, I believe and I hope,” he added.
The foreign minister referred to the values and principles that govern the Greek foreign policy, emphasizing that respect for international law is its cornerstone.
“International law, from the UN Charter to the law of the sea and human rights, is a powerful tool for dealing with and handling the country’s international relations,” he said.
He also stressed the importance of Greece’s participation in European and Euro-Atlantic institutions, as well as the strengthening of the country’s bilateral relations both in the Balkans and in the wider Eastern Mediterranean and Asia.
“Through the strategic dialogue, we have upgraded relations with the United States. The latter do not hesitate, for the first time, to publicly condemn the Turkish provocation in the Eastern Mediterranean,” underlined Nikos Dendias.