Source: Republic of Greece – Foreign Affairs
Ayman, thank you, and thank you so much for hosting us. It is a great pleasure to be here with you, today, and with Nikos. And I have to say the fact that we conduct this meeting not virtually, but with our presence here, says much about how we consider the importance of Jordan and the importance of this trilateral. And I would like to begin by praising Jordan, under the leadership of His Majesty, for being a beacon of peace and stability in this turbulent region. We know you are facing huge challenges all over, and it is not just the pandemic. For example, you are having a record number of refugees on your soil. And yet you host them, you treat them in a humane way and you don’t use their presence as a way of blackmailing the European Union or other countries. We addressed several regional issues in our long talks. Unfortunately, we are not blessed to live in a problem-free region, rather the opposite. We talked about Libya, we talked about Syria, we talked about the Middle East Peace Process, we have talked about the migration issue, we have talked about the Eastern Mediterranean and the Cyprus issue. And I have to say, we found many grounds of common understanding and common approach. That is why, among others, we support the institutionalization of this trilateral through the establishment of a permanent Secretariat in Nicosia, and also the expansion. For example, we agreed, the three of us, that we should together visit Iraq, and also take our Egyptian colleague with us. So we can project an example of understanding between countries. I take this opportunity to repeat what is obvious, but I think it needs repetition: our trilateral and our understandings are not against anybody. They are open to all the countries that accept the same values and share the same understanding: peace, stability and International Law. So, this is open.Unfortunately, there is one country in the region – we all know it- that is challenging this basic understanding, these basic premises. And this is Turkey.Turkey acts in exactly the opposite way, outside the bounds of international legality, and having become, unfortunately the local troublemaker. Threatening to use force- it has threatened to declare war against Greece, if Greece really acts on what is its sovereign right, expanding its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles. By instrumentalising the migration issue, by spreading propaganda and fake news, by exacerbating security challenges, by moving jihadists from Libya to the Caucasus- what I call a “jihadist travel agency” – and endangering peace and stability in all the region. This is totally unacceptable and we have repeatedly called upon Ankara to involve itself in a constructive dialogue with all countries that are law-abiding and share the values that we share. I have to say that it is hugely important that we work together, it is hugely important that we enhance our common understanding. It is absolutely necessary in order to create a better future for our broader region. Insecurity and instability are not needed. And I have to say we have done a lot of groundwork in order to prepare our leaders’ meeting in Athens in the first half of 2021. It will be a great honour for Prime Minister Mitsotakis to receive you in Athens. And I think with that meeting we can go even more forward. Dear Ayman, it is always a pleasure to see you. We are being educated by your huge experience in the region and on the lots of all the problems we are facing and thank you so much for your gracious hospitality.