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France Swears Support to Greece As Turkey Provokes in the Aegean

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Emmanuel Macron welcomes Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis to the Élysée Palace. Credit: PM Press Office

On Monday, French president, Emmanuel Macron, said that the Greece-France strategic partnership agreement signed a year ago is a strong bulwark against any kind of challenge in the wider region.

Speaking as he welcomed Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Élysée Palace in Paris, Macron stressed that “this strategic partnership will not allow any unrest in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

“We fully support the sovereignty of Greece,” added the French President, who emphasized that full cooperation in matters of foreign and defense policy and armaments is becoming more important today in the face of challenges.

Macron: Provocations against Greece ‘unacceptable’

Macron expressed his satisfaction with his country’s cooperation with Greece in the fields of defense and security, also calling statements and provocations against Greece’s territorial integrity “ unacceptable.”

The French President emphasized France’s full support for Greece and said that “the cooperation between the two countries comes from afar—and goes a long way ahead.”

Referring to the issue of increasing Turkish provocations, Mitsotakis said that “ I will share with President Macron some thoughts on the increasing Turkish provocations in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean. I thank the French President for his clear support for my country.”

“We respond to challenges with readiness,” he added, “and to those who threaten us—and who say that they will descend upon our islands suddenly one night—we say that we are waiting for them in the light of day, where it will be visible who has International Law on their side.”

“In addition to being a force of deterrence,” Mitsotakis continued, “Greece is also a force of cooperation, and if I were to summarize Greek-French cooperation in just a few words I would say: We are stronger together!”

Greece-France in ‘strategic partnership’

Mitsotakis also mentioned last year’s signing of the multi-level strategic partnership agreement between the two countries, stressing that it contributes to the boosting of the EU’s strategic autonomy.

In September 2021, Greece and France sealed a “strategic partnership” with an agreement for the sale of three frigates, with the option for a fourth.

At the signing ceremony in Paris, Macron said the agreement is part of a deeper “strategic partnership” between the two countries.

The agreement, said Macron, strengthens cooperation in the area of security and helps safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both countries. It is also an important milestone in European defense, he added.

Mitsotakis had hailed the agreement as “a historic day for Greece and France.”

“We have decided with President Macron to upgrade our bilateral defense cooperation while expanding the readiness of our states for solidarity, mutual assistance, and joint action in all fields,” Mitsotakis said in September 2021.

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