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HomeGreeceAlternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis’ remarks at the “Circle the...

Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis’ remarks at the “Circle the Med: The Mediterranean Forum 2022” (24.11.2022)

Furthermore, the Alternate Minister addressed the issue of migration, stressing that Greece does not have a mandate from European citizens for an open border policy. “We believe that we have to implement a policy of controlled migration. And the agreement that I signed the day before yesterday with Egypt to invite 5,000 workers to Greece is a model agreement. If it functions properly, it will be expanded and demonstrate how the North and South of the Mediterranean can work together to tackle this acute problem”, he said.
In this regard, the Alternate Minister emphasized the importance of adequately financing the energy transition so that it is truly equitable. “We are among those who not only called for but also contributed to the design and decisions about the Recovery Fund, perhaps the EU’s largest financial instrument, a third of which is directed towards the Green Transition. This Fund demonstrates that the burden of expensive energy will not fall on the many, as there are funds available to mitigate the cost”, Mr. Varvitsiotis pointedly said.
“The Mediterranean is more than a sea. It is a cradle of civilizations, home to 500 million people, an inexhaustible source of wealth, the largest shipping hub on the planet, and a unique ecosystem”, said Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, addressing the “Circle the Med: The Mediterranean Forum 2022” today. He also stated that Greece is promoting Euro-Mediterranean cooperation by broadening the agenda of the EU-MED9 group, particularly on environmental protection, civil protection, and energy transition policies.
Lastly, Mr. Varvitsiotis underscored that “for us, the Mediterranean is a space where there is no room for barren rivalries” and that the only way to resolve our differences is to respect International Law, as Greece has demonstrated in practice by defining EEZs with Italy and Egypt, while also discussing with Albania and being open to defining EEZs with Libya. This is in contrast to Turkey which does not respect International Law, the Alternate Minister added, making special reference to the illegal Turkish-Libyan “memorandum”, which was condemned yesterday by the overwhelming majority of the European Parliament as well.
Mr. Varvitsiotis, in particular, stated that Greece has highlighted the importance of energy cooperation among Mediterranean countries as well as the search for new energy routes to Europe. He made special reference to Greece’s agreements with Egypt and Saudi Arabia for the installation of cables and the transport of hydrogen, respectively, as well as to the potential for exporting energy from Greece via the Western Balkans. “We aim to make our country a special energy transit hub”, he said.

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