United Nations.- (GreekNewsOnline)
Breaking a tradition of 46 years since the illegal Turkish invasion, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis didn’t mention Cyprus problem in his speech to the 75th Session of UN General Assembly. The address was prerecorded, as with all world leaders’ speeches, as a protective measure against the pandemic.
Mitsotakis spoke for approximately 12 minutes, almost half the time allowed, and in spite of Turkish provocations within Cyprus’ EEZ, the threats to open Varosha and other provocations, has chosen to not mention the issue. It’s is not known if the Greek Prime Minister’s decision is related to the resumption of the exploratory talks between Greece and Turkey.
Former Foreign Minister and president of the political movement “Pratto” Nikos Kotzias in an exclusive statement to the Greek News called Mitsotakis’ “omission” ” a negative development”.
There was not reaction to the “Mitsotakis’ omission” from Greeks or Cypriot political parties, although members of the Anastasiades administration and diplomats from both countries were surprised.
n his remarks Prime Minister Mitsotakis touched upon migration, climate change, the pandemic and Greece’s relations with Turkey and he analyzed the main challenges facing the global community “that demand action today, not discussion tomorrow.”
Mitsotakis also referred to the problems caused by Turkey, saying that Turkey’s action undermined international law and threatened security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as for all EU member-states.
“The other great geopolitical challenge we face concerns Turkey.
At the General Assembly last year, I had made a point of extending the hand of friendship and co-operation to President Erdogan. I even talked of my willingness to act as a bridge-builder for Turkey in Europe.
Sadly, where Greece put trust, dialogue and understanding at the heart of a values-based foreign policy, Turkey responded with escalation, provocation, disinformation, and aggression. Where Greece chose the path of dialogue in good faith, Turkey chose the path of intransigence.
Be in no doubt, Turkey’s actions undermine international law and threaten the security and stability of the broader region of the Eastern Mediterranean and of all EU member states. The European Union made it absolutely clear that unilateral actions will not be left unanswered when they threaten sovereign rights of member states.
However, in spite of the recent events, I remain an optimist. Everybody understands that this constant escalation of tension cannot continue. And I refuse to believe that partnership between near neighbors is not possible. Look at the recent agreement struck between Israel and the UAE. Both friends of Greece, now friends with each other. Years of suspicion and animosity have been replaced by co-operation and mutual understanding.
So, let’s meet, let’s talk, and let’s seek a mutually acceptable solution. Let’s give diplomacy a chance. If, after all, we still cannot agree, then we should trust the wisdom of the international court at The Hague.
The beginning of exploratory talks between our two sides, which was announced two days ago, is a step in the right direction. If President Erdogan really believes the United Nations stands as a beacon of hope and a bastion of global co-operation, then I would urge him to act in accordance with its values.”
Despite the current difficult circumstances, he added, “we are more united than ever, more connected through the power of innovation, sharing an unprecedented determination to work together to improve the global family of our nations.”
He noted the need for the global community to do more to tackle the causes of migration, however, such as poverty, privation, economic uncertainty, exploitation, violence and war.
The prime minister also referred to the great changes wrought by the pandemic: “Since the last time we met, the world has changed dramatically. The Covid-19 pandemic has raised questions regarding globalisation…questions that we never imagined we will have to face nor yet to answer. How do we live, how do we work, how do we interact…”
He noted that the pandemic had created a “new normality” of masks and minimal physical contact but that this should not be allowed to dictate a new world, since digital technology allowed the world to be more connected than ever.
“If, as now seems possible, we can develop complex vaccines in just one year or maybe 18 months, why can we not work together to solve some of the other great global challenges of our time,” he said. “If Covid has taught us anything, it is that we do not have the luxury to wait for the next crisis before we take preventative action,” he added.
Mitsotakis noted the need to take action to ward off climate change, protect biodiversity and public health and to tackle the causes of migration, noting that this finally amounted to action for the viability of humanity.
In the midst of multiple crises and uncertainty, compounded by troubled relations between states that threatened security and multilateral cooperation, the prime minister cited Greece’s efficient response to the pandemic, despite a health system weakened by decade-long austerity, as “proof that there is a way to overcome this uncertainty”.
“We proved that flexibility, adaptability and new technology can make people stronger and achieve results that at one time seemed impossible,” he said. “We gave priority to knowledge, to the experts, using the facts and the data instead of relying on ideology, exploiting the best that innovation and technology had to offer and putting reliable experts at the centre of decision-making and our communication. And it worked,” Mitsotakis said.
Defying all expectations, Greece had been extraordinarily successful in handling the first wave of the pandemic, he added, expressing confidence that it will similarly succeed in tackling the second wave as well.