Tsipras: 'Neither the will nor the goal Mitsotakis has'

Western Thrace
Tue, 11 Apr 2023 10:40 GMT
Alexis Tsipras, President of the opposition SYRIZA and former Prime Minister, shared his views on the election process and relations with Türkiye.
Tsipras: 'Neither the will nor the goal Mitsotakis has'

SYRIZA President and former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras blamed the government for the relations with Ankara. Stating that Mitsotakis failed to utilise the window of opportunity, Tsipras said that fencing the Evros alone would not be enough to prevent migration.

Greece will go to the polls for general elections on 21 May.

Prime Minister Kiryakos Mitsotakis promised to close the entire land border with Türkiye with a wall as an election campaign promise.

STATEMENTS ON TÜRKİYE

While Tsipras said that they would not try to form a government if they came second in the elections, he was in favour of fencing Greece's land border with Türkiye along the Evros River in the north-east.

DIALOGUE WITH ANKARA WAS ASKED

Speaking to Kathimerini newspaper, Tsipras said, "Recently, there seems to be a softening in our relations with Türkiye. Do you think this will last? Should Greece see this as a window of opportunity to gain an advantage by establishing a solid dialogue with Türkiye?"

"MITSOTAKIS HAS NEITHER THE WILL NOR THE GOAL"

"There is a window of opportunity that needs to be exploited so that both countries can focus on the challenges facing our peoples.

This opportunity can only be exploited if there is the will to have a structured dialogue with a specific objective. Unfortunately, Mitsotakis has neither the will nor the objective.

For our part, our will to engage in dialogue is clear. Our red lines are our territorial integrity and our right to defend it."

THE DÉTENTE PERIOD WITH TÜRKİYE

Greece's recent defence agreements were also on the agenda. Tsipras was asked whether he would change his perspective on the military agreements if the détente with Türkiye continues:

The first question after the Turkish elections will be whether Türkiye will move towards the West. If this happens, a positive US-Türkiye and EU-Türkiye agenda will develop.

We need to make sure that it will include the conditions for a positive agenda on Greek-Turkish (disputes) and Cyprus, which will conditionally protect our position.

"A FENCE IS NECESSARY BUT NOT A SOLUTION"

Asked whether the Athens administration would need to expand the border wall near Evros, the Greek politician said:

"The fence may help at some points in Evros, but it is clearly not the solution to the migration problem. It even creates a problem in terms of controlling the land between the fence and the Turkish border. Of course we will protect our borders, but we will not stop there.

We will demand the protection of our borders on the basis of international and European law."

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