Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis shared his concerns about developments in the Middle East on Politico’s Power Play podcast.
“I speak as a friend of Israel and I believe that sometimes friends must tell hard truths to friends. And I think that while we recognize that Israel has the right to defend itself, how it does so is important. It is of particular importance. That is why we were at the forefront – when I say ‘we’ I mean Greece – in recognizing the need for a humanitarian pause in order to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza, facilitate negotiations for the hostages and allow to the people who are in Gaza today, who want and have the ability to leave, to do so in safe conditions” says the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, among others.
“While Israel continues its very aggressive campaign, yes, there will be growing concern about the proportionality of the Israeli response” Kyriakos Mitsotakis characteristically notes and emphasizes that “it is important to reflect on the next day in Gaza and how we will find a political solution to the conflict. At the end of the day, we have to consider what is the price of defeating Hamas.”
Listen to Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ interview on the Politico podcast
During the discussion with Ann McElvoy, Mr. Mitsotakis emphasized that at the International Humanitarian Conference on Civilians in Gaza, which is being held today in Paris, they will discuss all available humanitarian aid options.
“Because of our geographic location, if we can deliver humanitarian aid in an organized way and ensure that that aid reaches those most in need, we will be happy to do so. One of our planes landed in Egypt and delivered humanitarian aid.
If we can explore the possibility of a sea corridor, which, however, would need the full protection of all parties involved to ensure that ships could have safe access to Gaza, I would be interested in joining such an initiative as well. However, it is clear that we are not at that point yet…”, stressed the Prime Minister.
Mitsotakis: We went through 4 very difficult years, but in recent months there has been a change of tone from Ankara
Kyriakos Mitsotakis also discussed Greece’s economic recovery, relations with Turkey, the challenges of dealing with migrant boat crossings and climate change.
On the Greek-Turkish front, the Greek prime minister spoke of a “change of tone” in recent months, advocated the improvement of our bilateral relations and expressed the hope that the two countries would be able to cooperate despite the difference between us, that of the demarcation of maritime zones .
“We have had four very difficult years, but in recent months there has been a change of tone on the part of Ankara and I certainly look forward to exploring the possibilities for a meaningful rapprochement between Greece and Turkey. This is, of course, also related to immigration. The Minister of Migration of Greece was in Turkey.
We must work together to address this challenge. I have always argued, openly, that Turkey should be supported financially by the European Union, as it is currently hosting millions of Syrian refugees. There are mutually beneficial areas in which we can work together. And even if we agree to disagree on our main difference, which is the delimitation of maritime zones, we can do it in a civilized way, without conflict and without threats to Greece, as Turkey has done in the last year. So I hope that this change of approach will last.”
As far as Immigration is concerned, the Greek Prime Minister pointed out that Greece implements a strict, but fair policy and once again defended the country’s right to protect its borders, as well as the request it has submitted for additional financial support from the European Union. He emphasized, in fact, that “I have always been one of the supporters of the opinion that the European Union should financially support Turkey, as it hosts millions of Syrian refugees on its territory” adding that there are mutually beneficial fields in which we can cooperate”