The Greek minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Kotzias and his Italian counterpart, Angelino Alfano met earlier on Wednesday, December 20, at the Villa Madama in western Rome. A venue where only very special, important and meaningful meetings are held. Thus, Kotzias became the second minister after the Russian FM, Sergey Lavrov, who was hosted there in the year 2017. In fact, this choice of venue proves how the Italian government considered it and the importance Rome attached to it.
On top of that, the climate among the two European politicians was so warm that, after the official and programmed time of the meeting was over, Kotzias and Alfano held a private get together that lasted for another half hour.
Later on, the Greek and Italian FMs signed two memoranda of co-operation, one on political consultations and the other on the diplomatic education field between Greece and Italy.
“Our talks were about bilateral issues and we focused particularly on the energy co-operation among us. We discussed for a possible future agreement on matters concerning the maritime zones”, said the Greek minister when asked about the meeting by the ANA-MPA.
Moreover, he added that “We had an in-depth-talk about international developments. I was asked by the Italian side to make analytical comments about Greece’s stance on global changes, on the way we (Greece) perceive the new U.S. leadership and the future role of China.”
Nikos Kotzias also spoke about the extent to which the two neighbouring countries share the idea of a socially-focused Europe in the near future.
“I think that we (Greece and Italy) are on the same page, since, as you know, after I took the initiative and with Hungary’s support, we organized the Budapest meeting of 10 -the Visegrad Group with Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Slovenia and Serbia. In three months from now, Greece will host a similar but enlarged meeting, between all of the above-mentioned states as well as those of the West Balkans that are in the accession process, Turkey among them. I have already invited my Italian colleague to attend the Athens meeting and I believe he wants to be there.”
Regarding the Dublin Regulation and the Visegrad bloc countries that seem to be pulling back, Kotzias believes that Greece and Italy have a similar policy due to the fact that they (as countries) go through the real problems of migration. “What I want to underline at this point is something I always say; the ones who engage in bombarding people are not the same with the ones who pay the price”.