EU summit: Greek PM says Turkey must continue to de-escalate tensions

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Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis jetted off to Brussels for the EU summit on Thursday with a reinforced stance on relations with Turkey and their immigration programme. 

The Prime Minister promoted the “bi-zonal, bi-communal” federation with political equality as the only way to solve the ongoing Cyprus dispute. 

“Any discussion of a solution regarding the creation of two separate states is rejected in principle because it contradicts all the decisions of the UN Security Council but also the European acquis,” he says. 

The Prime Minister suggested that Turkey must show consistency in de-escalating tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and agreed to finance Turkey’s refugee programme on certain conditions. 

The financial support comes with the condition that Turkey avoids “any instrumentalization of refugees and immigrants” and “accepts the return to Turkey of people who are currently on the Greek islands and the asylum applications have been finally rejected,” he says. 

He shifted his focus from the rapidly rising Delta outbreaks in neighbouring countries to say he anticipates the “immediate activation” of the EU digital COVID certificate (EUDCC) in the coming days. 

“I want to repeat a very simple message conveyed yesterday by the leading American epidemiologist Mr. Fauci. ‘You’re vaccinated, you’re safe. You’re unvaccinated, you’re at risk. Simple as that’,” he says. 

PM Mitsotakis also rallied among 17 other EU leaders in pressing for tolerance and acceptance of LGBTQ+ rights amidst Hungary’s ‘anti-LGBTQ’ bill. 

Ekathimerini

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