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Greek PM Mitsotakis at Georgetown U: Greece believes in keeping communication channels open with Turkey, Russia

WASHINGTON (ANA-MPA/P. Kasfikis) – The last thing NATO needs is another source of tension between Greece and Turkey, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told Washington Post journalist David Ignatius during a chat at Georgetown University on Monday.

Mitsotakis, who is on an official two-day visit to meet with US President Joe Biden and address the US Congress in a joint session, said that he has conveyed to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the message that “this is not a time for aggressive moves, it is not a time to promote revisionist views of history, let us find a framework for talks to deal with our issues.”

The Greek Premier also noted it is unacceptable that a NATO member state violates another’s airspace, as Turkey does of Greece, but insisted on keeping communication open, to sustain a positive agenda and to recognize the points on which each country disagree. He further said that the issue of Turkey’s disagreement about Finland’s and Sweden’s intention to apply for NATO membership will be resolved soon.

Commenting on the war in Ukraine, Mitsotakis said he was “proud as a European leader for Europe’s response” to Russia’s invasion and the following sanctions, but foresaw the war lasting a long time. Despite this, he said, communication channels should remain open with Russia, as European leaders are doing for a resolution through negotiations.

Greece retains strong cultural and religious ties with Russia and does not see Russian people with hostility. But Greece has fought for its own independence and had the obligation to stand by Ukraine and support it when its national sovereignty was threatened, the Greek premier said.