ATHENS – Main opposition party SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras referred extensively to the Prespes Agreement while addressing the 4th EU-Arab World Summit in Athens on Wednesday and also said that “the EU’s credibility will be judged in the Balkans, the Middle East and in the eastern Mediterranean.”
Tsipras elaborated his point of view when he said that this notion of European credibility relies on whether “the EU will be able to secure the European prospects of the western Balkans,” which he said is a target synonymous to regional stability, and further noted that the EU “should take advantage of the historical step of the Prespes Agreement” towards that vision.
After praising the Prespes Agreement as a model historical accord between Greece and North Macedonia, the SYRIZA leader said that the EU will be evaluated on its role “in the Middle East, in the peace-keeping process in Syria, and also in other ongoing Middle East issues.”
“Concerning the southeastern Mediterranean,” Tsipras said the EU will be “judged on whether it can enforce international law with one of its critically important partners, namely Turkey.”
On the current Greek government’s foreign policy, Tsipras said that “this too shall be assessed from the point of view of whether it can use to its advantage the alliances our government built in the southeastern Mediterranean region, especially so with key partners in the Arab world.”
Tsipras finally focused on what he said are the four key areas of cooperation between the EU and the Arab world.
These are, first, a common policy and diplomacy against terrorism and its root causes, as is the joint support of international law when it comes to violations such as Turkey’s recent actions in Cyprus’ EEZ.
Second is economic collaboration, bearing in mind, Tsipras said, that Greece is becoming a major hub of transport and energy networks.
Third is the migration crisis, where the SYRIZA leader said he sees a fair revision of the Dublin Treaty as essential.
Climate change was the final key area, where all regional countries and the EU need to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, he noted.