German Foreign Minister rebukes Turkey over Lausanne Treaty

5 December 2016
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German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier berated Turkey’s political establishment, saying playing “games” with the Lausanne Treaty did not constitute policy, during a joint press conference with his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias in Athens. “Everyone knows what will happen if we start disputing the borders in Europe”, the German politician warned, adding that such approaches did not contribute to the imperative need for stability citizens were asking for. On his part, the Greek Foreign Minister underlined that in order for Turkey to continue to have an open door membership for the EU, incendiary rhetoric should be abandoned, lowering nervousness, which is dependent on abiding by international law, which meant respecting the Lausanne Treaty. “Because even today, the provisions of this Treaty, like the self-government of the islands of Imvros and Tenedos continued to not be implemented”, Kotzias added. The Greek Minister continued by saying that Greece desired a democratic European Turkey in the EU who would act in accordance to international and European laws. “It is her (Turkey’s) choice if it would follow that path”, Kotzias stressed. On the matter of the EU-Turkey refugee agreement both men reiterated their support for the deal, with the German Foreign Minister saying that if the deal was not in place, Greece would have been forced to shoulder the total problem on its own, which could have broken the country. “We Germans truly back the deal as we are accepting 500 refugees every month”, Steinmeier said. Both Ministers expressed their optimism on the Cypriot problem, pointing out that a solution would have a positive impact not only on Cyprus and Greece, but for the EU as a whole.

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