Foreign Minister Kotzias: ‘The Syrian issue has to do with the future of the EU itself’

Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, in a statement to ERT, on the margins of the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting said:

“Today we started off with a trilateral meeting. Following Egypt, Israel and Jordan, trilateral cooperation between Cyprus, Lebanon and Greece was started. In this way we completed an initial process. Moreover, we have reached an agreement with Lebanon so that, after the summer, we can organize a conference – of Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus and Greece – on security and peace in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The countries under discussion at today’s meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council included, first, Moldova, where an effort is being made to consolidate rule of law and combat corruption, crime and black political money. The second country we looked at was Belarus, regarding which the lifting of the bulk of the sanctions is foreseen. It was proved once again that sanctions like these do not work and are not effective, and that it is much more effective to develop the relations between the European Union and third countries.

Of course, a large portion of our talks concerned Syria, the developments following the London conference and the agreement reached in Munich. We once again expressed our concern, which is based on the fact that many powers continue to believe that they can continue bombardments or prepare military forces for intervention in Syria. For us, the Syria issue is not just a matter of humanism or battling terrorism, or a matter of pacifism in general. It is an issue that has to do with the situation of the member states of the European Union, with the future of the European Union itself and of its unity in facing major geopolitical problems, like the refugee crisis.”