“If there is no respect for international law and international treaties, it is not possible to build a real friendship. Such friendships are built on the solid basis of mutual respect for International and European Law,” Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said on Saturday at the ceremony for his proclamation as an honorary citizen of the municipality of Siatista (Kozani).
Pavlopoulos added that “we are making every possible effort to live as friends and good neighbors. In this context, I have invited the President of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan, to Greece. And I am confident that this visit will be a landmark for the peaceful coexistence of both peoples, especially now that both people, for different reasons, are tried, but are determined to overcome the crisis and have the future they deserve.”
The Greek President stressed the Greece is a force of peace and security in the Balkans and in the wider region. It is, however, always ready to defend its borders, its territory and its sovereignty, which are, respectively, the borders, territory and sovereignty of the European Union.
Pavlopoulos sent a message towards the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM):
We call on it to abandon the undermining stance that harms its international image and its European orientation while distorting history. And, on the contrary, to respect international and European law as a whole. Because it is clear that as long as it insists on the use of a name, which not only constitutes a provocative distortion of history, it also shows irredentism, it undermines its European perspective. The European acquis excludes states which set the existing borders into question from accession to the European Union.
He also sent a message towards Turkey: The Greeks always wanted good relations with Turkey. We want a democratic Turkey, we want a prosperous Turkey, which has a European perspective. But this requires on the part of Turkey, full, sincere and practical proof of respect for international and European law as a whole. This means that the Lausanne Treaty, which recognizes only a religious minority in Greece, is fully respected, and this must be accepted in practice if Turkey wants to have a European perspective.
Pavlopoulos also sent a message to Albania: We always promote relations of friendship and good neighborliness with Albania and we are in favour of its European perspective. These objectives can only be achieved with full respect for international law and the European acquis as a whole, but this is incompatible with the violation of fundamental human rights, the rights of minorities and the important right to property.