Mitsotakis vows to seek meeting with Turkish president at NATO summit if elected

Wed, 7 Jun 2023 10:52 GMT
Former PM Mitsotakis says balance of power now favors Greece due to ongoing rearmament programs.
Mitsotakis vows to seek meeting with Turkish president at NATO summit if elected

Former Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the favorite in elections on June 25, said Tuesday that he will seek to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at next month’s NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania if he is declared the winner. 

"If I am the prime minister, I will seek at the NATO summit to reformulate the roadmap we (Türkiye and Greece) will follow in the coming months,” he said in an interview with public broadcaster ERT.

Mitsotakis said that Greece only recognizes one outstanding issue with Türkiye that could be submitted to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for resolution -- that of the delimitation of maritime zones.

As to the country’s ongoing ambitious rearmament programs, he said “Greece is obliged to boost its armed forces because we have the largest and geopolitically unpredictable neighbor next to us.”

“We managed to change the balance in terms of the strength of the armed forces,” he added.

Greece in recent years signed multiple big-ticket arms deals, including for drones from Israel and Rafale jets from France as well as upgrades to its F-16 fleet from the US.

Athens also approached Washington for the potential purchase of at least 20 F-35 stealth aircraft and Berlin for an update to its Leopard 2 tank fleet and purchases of Lynx armored vehicles.


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