The meeting of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with French President Emmanuel Macron, which took place before the start of the Euro-Mediterranean Conference in Corsica, lasted about two hours.
According to government sources, there was complete agreement and compatibility in the main strategy towards Turkey. “The provocations stop and the discussions begin, otherwise the way is open for sanctions”, the two leaders agreed.
The sources stated that the perspective and interest of a strategic relationship were discussed adding: “Have a little patience and you will hear more from the Prime Minister in Thessaloniki. Greece is not alone. It has many allies on its side, something that is expected to be reflected in the conclusions (Declaration) of the Euro-Mediterranean Conference”.
The French president, after his meeting with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, made the following post on Twitter: “I am glad to meet Kyriakos Mitsotakis again for the Med7 summit, hosted by France in Ajaccio. Our discussions on the strategic partnership between Greece and France have been fruitful. I expressed our full solidarity with him after the fire of Moria”.
Heureux de retrouver @kmitsotakis pour le sommet Med7 que la France accueille à Ajaccio. Nos échanges sur le partenariat stratégique entre la Grèce et la France ont été fructueux. Je lui ai fait part de notre pleine solidarité suite à l’incendie de Moria. pic.twitter.com/oN04M7asXY
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) September 10, 2020
Diplomatic sources in Athens emphasized the warm support for Greece that Mr. Macron expresses in every way during the recent period when the Turkish provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean are on the rise.
The subject of their discussion was the strengthening of the defense cooperation of the two countries and issues of military programs. The Minister of National Defense, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, repeatedly contacted his French counterpart, Florence Parly in the last few days.
According to what had become known before the meeting, the two delegations discussed the maintenance and modernization of the Mirage-2000, the maintenance of the French Scalp EG and Exocet missiles, the acquisition of at least 18 Rafale, the delivery of the last six NH90 helicopters and possibly the acquisition, either on loan or by purchase, of two French frigates.
A few hours before the meeting in Corsica, Mr Macron called on Europe to take a clear stand against Turkey.
The Turkish Foreign Minister, however, launched a counterattack, arguing that the French president is “arrogant and endangers Europe’s interests”.