Greece and the European Union actively desire and seek friendship and good neighbour relations with Turkey, President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos said on Sunday, sending a message to Ankara from the island of Chios.
“The Greek and European Aegean can and must be proved to Turkey to be the sea that does not divide but, on the contrary, unites [Turkey] with Europe and the West. With the self-evident proviso that Turkey respects the entirety of international law and, consequently, respects the entirety of the Lausanne Treaty,” he said while addressing the event “Europe in my region” held on the island.
The Lausanne Treaty precisely outlined the borders of Greece and therefore of the EU, leaving no room for any type of “grey zone” or other form of dispute that lacked any historical basis, the Greek president said.
Praising the initiative for the event held on Chios, Pavlopoulos said the main aim of this European-wide information campaign was to highlight the value of EU cooperation and to familiarise European citizens and inform them about the projects supported by the EU in each national region.
The specific event on Chios showcased works to restore and repair the walls of the Chios castle, that were partly funded by the EU structural funds, he added.
The Greek president had also highlighted the need for full respect of the Lausanne Treaty in order to preserve peace and peaceful coexistence during earlier statements on the island commemorating the victims of the 1822 Chios massacre.
“Today we honour the memory of the tragic victims of the massacres on Chios in 1822. Martyrs on the altar of freedom, those slaughtered indicate to us through the ages our own obligations and our own path: we do not forget the blood of the heroes and martyrs. We do not lower the flag of freedom and, consequently, of our national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.
The Chios massacre was the killing of tens of thousands of Greeks on the island of Chios by Ottoman troops during the Greek War of Independence in 1822.