Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis’ remarks on SKAI TV’s morning show “SIMERA” with journalists D. Oikonomou and Maria Anastasopoulou (Athens, 04.10.2021)

“The Greek-French defense agreement has irritated Turkey,” pointed out this morning Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis in an interview on SKAI TV’s show “SIMERA” with journalists Dimitris Oikonomou and Maria Anastasopoulou.

In particular, Mr. Varvitsiotis said that the agreement is a major success of the Greek foreign policy that changes the game in the Eastern Mediterranean. He pointed out that with this agreement, Greece sends a message to everyone -and especially to the Greek people- that we are not willing to refrain from defending our national sovereign rights. He also said that the negotiation of the defense agreement with the largest military force in the EU has only been completed now, although all Greek governments had been eagerly seeking it for many decades. In particular, he noted that this was achieved because the Greek Prime Minister made the right decision to request it from President Macron at the recent EUMED Summit in Athens and to have the mutual assistance clause put into paper with such clarity.

Regarding the ratification of the Agreement on Thursday, the Alternate Minister said that it strikes him that the Parliament will not voice unanimous support for the Agreement and that this sends the wrong message to everyone. “Our wish is that the message we send is a cross-party message in every aspect,” he said, adding that those who will not vote for the agreement want in effect a limited front that Greece can establish, in the event of a threat.

Finally, referring to Greek-Turkish relations, Mr. Varvitsiotis stressed that there hasn’t been a period of calmness in the past two years and that the provocations -both verbal and on the ground- have been continuous. “We haven’t let Turkish provocations go unanswered so far and we are not going to do so in the future. There is readiness from the part of both the Armed Forces and Greek diplomacy”, he noted emphatically.

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