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Greek President: We will defend the country’s national integrity

Featured Greek President: We will defend the country’s national integrity

The President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos sent a clear message to Turkey on the sovereignty of the Dodecanese island in the Aegean Sea.

In his celebratory speech on the island of Nisyros on occasion of its 70th anniversary since the incorporation to mainland Greece, referring to Turkey the President pointed out that “Greece desires friendship and good neighbourliness with Turkey, which is why it supports its European prospect. However, respecting the borders must mean respect for international law as a whole, including the Lausanne and Paris Treaties, as well as the international law of the sea. This is the basis upon which we can build our friendship with Turkey”, said Mr Pavlopoulos.

During his second speech after being declared an honourary citizen of the island, Mr Pavlopoulos stressed that every dispute of borders, territorial integrity and Greece’s national sovereignty constituted the borders, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the European Union.

Referring to Turkey and its constant provocations, the President added that the conclusions arising from international law and the treaties were directed especially at those who have “made up” the so-called gray areas in the Aegean Sea and dispute the status of the Greek islands. He went on to underline Greece’s self-evident right “in accordance with the provisions of Article 51 of the UN Charter on Preventive Legal Defence to protect them against any threat via all available means when and when it is judged appropriate”.

Referring to the Treaty of Paris, which granted the Dodecanese to Greece, Mr Pavlopoulos stressed: “This sovereignty is “complete”, which means that there is no restriction in its exercise. The content of “full” sovereignty is defined, in the Dodecanese, in accordance with the rules of the current Greek Constitution on sovereignty, and on the basis of the sovereignty of the Member States, in particular Article 4 (2) of the Treaty on European Union , given that Greece is a member state of the European Union.

Earlier, in a provocative statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry, called on President  Prokopis Pavlopoulos, to respect international law and Turkish borders in response to a reported statement by the Greek statesman that “We might not have the territory that we should have had historically “ and Greece would fight like its ancestors had in the past.

The Greek press has reported yesterday (6 March) that Mr. Pavlopoulos, President of Greece has made the following remarks about Turkey: “We might not have the territory that we should have had historically”… “If history compels us, we will do what our ancestors had done…”

We invite President Pavlopoulos to respect international law and our borders, and to refrain from a rhetoric which is not befitting his position, and that could cause unnecessary tension.