Professor of International Relations, Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts of the University of Macedonia, Ilias Kouskouvelis, said that Turkey has to respect as soon as possible the international obligation to reopen the Halki seminary.
In his interview for the radio station “Praktorio 104.9 FM” of ANA-MPA, Ilias Kouskouvelis stressed: “Almost five decades have passed since the closure of the seminary and it is time to reopen it”. He noted: “At this time, we must support the Patriarchate, because recently the Patriarchate has been criticized and attacked.”
Regarding the visit of the Greek Prime Minister to Turkey and the relations between the two countries, he said: “We are dealing with a country, a neighbor that is difficult”.
He said that we needed a sense of sober determination. “Let us be calm and at the same time decisive. If they stick to that position, I believe that we need to find other diplomatic ways in order to highlight some issues that blatantly and clearly violate some rules of International Law. Those dogfights over the Aegean Sea cause financial damage while we run the risk to bring about something that could escalate quickly. And the escalation could lead us to something we barely know,” said the Dr Ilias Kouskouvelis.
“Ankara’s position on Cyprus issue is not clear”
Dr. Ilias Koukouvelis also referred to Ankara’s attitude towards the Republic of Cyprus, underlining that Ankara should clarify what the Turkish president meant when he talked about political equality. This is not a legal term, but it is a word with political connotations. It must be clarified if the Turkish president presumably meant a condominium over the island.
According to Dr. Ilias Koukouvelis, “On the Cyprus issue, as well as on the issues related to Turkey and Greece, Turkey has an ambiguous position”. He said: “On the one hand, Turkey is ready to put on the table the idea of partition. On the other hand, when the Greek Cypriot side tells them wisely unofficially or the semi-officially that they can proceed to negotiations, Turkey sees energy reserves as an obstacle”.