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Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis’ remarks at the EU-Southern Neighbourhood Ministerial Conference (Athens, 26 November 2020)

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“Just as we share a common sea, we must follow common rules. Turkey constantly violates International Law as well as stability and security in the region. We cannot allow anyone to be a bully in our neighbourhood,” Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis underscored in his remarks during today’s EU-Southern Neighbourhood Ministerial Conference, which was held online. He added that Greece is the one showing the way of cooperation, as was demonstrated by the two agreements it signed on delimitation of maritime zones with Italy and Egypt.

“Today, Greece honours its historical and traditional ties with the countries of the Mediterranean, firmly supporting a new era of cooperation and attaching great importance to the southern dimension of the European neighbourhood policy,” the Alternate Minister said. He also highlighted that “the strong relations between the EU and the countries of the Mediterranean have the momentum to evolve into a strategic partnership” that will bring benefits in a number of sectors – especially during the pandemic – including tourism, trade and investments. Moreover, he stressed the need for closer cooperation among the Mediterranean countries to combat climate change, noting that the European Green Deal provides the right coherent institutional framework for joint action.

The strategic objective of today’s Conference and tomorrow’s regional Forum – which are being hosted in Barcelona – is to jumpstart and strengthen cooperation between the European Union and third countries of the Mediterranean.