Foreign Minister N. Kotzias’ intervention at the Middle East Peace Conference

Thank you, Harlem, thank you France for doing such a great job on the Middle-East.

I would like to mention three points:

First, we are supporting the two-state solution and I think it is very important to discuss with Israel the fact that this solution is in line with its own interest. Nobody can guess what can happen after 10-20 years in the region and what will be the influence -even in the West Bank- exerted by Daesh and other extremists. So I believe that if Israel is thinking rationally, it will accept that we are right here talking about the two-state solution.

Secondly, we have to use very wisely the instruments available in the Middle-East in order to put our proposals into practice. First, to support law and justice in the Middle-East; second, to promote human rights and the respect of human life; third, we have to create hope; fourth, we have to build trust; last, but not least, everybody has to understand and learn the culture of compromise.

Third and last point, Greece believes that peace in the Middle-East will be supported if we create a peaceful framework in the Eastern Mediterranean. We are working together with Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel and we have created five trilateral schemes of cooperation with these countries. We have fought for peaceful coexistence between religions and cultural communities and have organized many important conferences on the matter, among which the Conference on religious and cultural pluralism in the Middle East that took place in Athens, on 20 October 2015.

We think that we have to create a positive agenda for the Eastern Mediterranean by putting to good use what our Arab friends call the Spirit of Rhodes, the spirit that marked the Conference for Security and Stability that was held, a few months ago, in Rhodes. A positive agenda for us is to find ways for synergies between the European and the Arab countries, to organize our friendship and develop our cooperation in the sectors of education, cultural exchanges and economy. We also need to create networks of cooperation in various fields, ranging from transport and universities to research centers.

I think we need to realize two projects: the one is to bring peace to Palestine and the Middle-East and to achieve a two-state solution. The second is to set a positive agenda for the Eastern Mediterranean.

Thank you once again France.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic

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