Alternate Foreign Minister for European Affairs, Nikos Xydakis, met with Netherlands Foreign Minister Bert Koenders in Amsterdam today, within the framework of his short tour of Europe.
The meeting focused on the refugee issue. Xydakis briefed Koenders on the efforts Greece is making to confront the unprecedented refugee and migration flows, noting that the country has responded in the best possible manner to the ever increasing needs. He also made assurances that Greece is working intensively to fully comply with its commitments to its European partners.
During the discussion, Turkey’s key role in managing the refugee flows was recognized, as was the need for Turkey to meet its commitments to the European Union.
Xydakis referred to the geopolitical developments that have created the refugee crisis, stressing the role the EU needs to play in the efforts to bring peace to Syria and acknowledging the pivotal role of the Netherlands Presidency and the initiatives it will undertake.
Xydakis informed Koenders of the fact that Greece has received less assistance than it needs to deal with the refugee/migration crisis, denying the claims that the country does not want the EU’s assistance.
The Alternate Foreign Minister noted Greece’s unique topography and the importance of guarding maritime borders stretching thousands of kilometers. He stressed that Greece saved over 100,000 people on its maritime borders in 2015, complying with the dictates of international law, the Geneva Convention on Refugees and the founding Treaties of the European Union.
Finally, Xydakis set out for Koenders the developments in the negotiations on the resolution of the Cyprus issue, also briefing him on the course of the Greek programme and the speedy progress Greece is making, stressing that the Greek government’s main concern is to attract new investments that will create the necessary jobs for Greek citizens.