New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the Dodecanese island of Leros ahead of the June 25 elections and said to supporters that Greece needs a strong government to ensure that the foreign policy it has pursued towards Turkey in recent years, will be continued.
According to ekathimerini.com, Mitsotakis expressed his desire to convey a “message of friendship” to Greece’s Aegean neighbour, saying that “we are not destined to live in perpetual tension with Turkey.”
He stressed that a solution to the country’s main dispute with Turkey, which revolves around the delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the continental shelf in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, can only be achieved through good neighbourly relations and in accordance with international law.
He said that no Greek Prime Minister, including himself, is willing to discuss issues that lie beyond the agenda of Greek-Turkish relations, such as the demilitarisation of the islands, sovereignty, and sovereign rights.
“We are well aware that a country’s foreign policy does not undergo sudden transformations. While we are pleased to have witnessed a reduction in tensions in recent months regarding violations and transgressions of our airspace, we must not entertain illusions,” Mitsotakis said.
“We extend a hand of friendship, but concurrently, we continue to strengthen our Armed Forces. We remain committed to protecting our borders and forging strong alliances that bolster the geopolitical standing of our homeland.”