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PM Mitsotakis: Solution to Middle East conflict requires Hamas' strategic defeat

Featured PM Mitsotakis: Solution to Middle East conflict requires Hamas' strategic defeat

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis referred to developments in the Middle East at the start of his discussion with political scientist and author Francis Fukuyama, at the 27th Economist Government Roundtable in Athens on Monday. 

Greece's position is clear, it recognizes Israel's right to self-defense based on International and Humanitarian Law, Mitsotakis said, while he underlined the need for humanitarian assistance, and condemned Hamas as a terrorist organization that does not represent the Palestinian people. Greece is able to talk with all sides except Hamas, he added.

It is obvious that Europe must do more in terms of its defense ability, he said, as the meaning of strategic autonomy is something that should be examined more seriously. Along those lines, the PM said, Greece is spending over 3% of its GDP for defense purposes, and he reiterated Greece's request that the European Union exempt defense expenditures from state budgets. He also said Ukraine and the Middle East should serve as lessons so that countries have the military ability to defend their territorial sovereignty, while the EU itself should spend more to defend European territory.

Mitsotakis also noted that Greece was one of three European countries participating in the international summit in Egypt on the crisis, and its stance is in support of a two-state solution and reviving the relevant talks. Palestinians have a right to their own country, without threatening Israel's right to its own state, he clarified. The Greek PM added that there cannot be a solution to the crisis without Hamas' strategic defeat, while the Palestinian Authority has proven it can be an effective administrator of the West Bank.

Referring to Greek-Turkish relations, he underlined that the positive momentum between the two countries should be maintained, and he called on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to join "the right side of history" and condemn Hamas.

Mitsotakis also noted Greece's strong relations with the United States, which recognizes Greece as a pillar of stability in the region, and called inequality the greatest challenge of this era. He also referred to the role of artificial intelligence and the newly appointed advisory committee on the issue.