Statements of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Kotzias, following his meeting with UN Secretary General’sPersonal Envoy, Matthew Nimetz (Athens, 30 January 2018)

N. KOTZIAS: Mr. Nimetz and I had a very creative and productive meeting. I explained our proposal concerning the pact and I told him what it could and should contain. I told him what I think: where I find his proposals to be positive, which ones we could adopt, and where we have concerns. And where we do have concerns, I proposed alternative solutions and methods. I think that we need to work, in good faith, in this direction. Everything else I leave to those who chose to criticize without reason.

JOURNALIST: Will you be seeing Mr. Dimitrov soon?

N. KOTZIAS: I won’t see him now. I’ll see him when we have prepared our proposal.

JOURNALIST: Does the other side know about the pact? Because, they have issued an announcement.

N. KOTZIAS: The other side knows about the pact, but we are the ones preparing its content. We haven’t announced it yet.

JOURNALIST: Will they be able to make proposals?

N. KOTZIAS: Of course, this will be our proposal. They might ask to alter it completely, or they may have an alternative solution of their own, amendments. It isn’t a take it or leave it, proposal. It is, rather, a proposal for discussion, for dialogue, to facilitate the negotiations.

JOURNALIST: Do we have any time frame for the pact?

N. KOTZIAS: The faster the better. It needs a lot of work. It depends on whether the proposals they make are reasonable and can be accepted by the other side, or whether we need to start the whole discussion on the pact from the beginning.

JOURNALIST: Will you have enough time?

N. KOTZIAS: For what?

JOURNALIST: For the time frame …

N. KOTZIAS: We don’t have a time frame.

JOURNALIST: Is it something that can be continued with …

N. KOTZIAS: If we aren’t able to reach agreement, we will continue. We have said this, not in relation to third players, but for the purpose of reaching an agreement with countries like Albania or fYROM; not to get caught up in the Greek elections that are to be held in 2019, as you all know.

JOURNALIST: What did Mr. Nimetz think of the pact?

N. KOTZIAS: Mr. Nimetz is an extremely capable interlocutor and always finds our new proposals to be very interesting.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Hellenic Republic