“My proposal will also be at the level of the European Council that any aid to Syria must be coordinated at the European level” said the Prime Minister
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis referred to the deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria and Greece’s assistance to the country in these difficult times, speaking on the CNN network and on the show “Connect the World”.
“Greece was one of the first countries to respond to Turkey’s request, ready to mobilize the crisis and disaster response mechanism, just like Europe. We already have groups active and operating in the area of Hatay and I would like to say that we have seen images of a Greek group operating in this area. So we are already on site. You know that our country has a lot of experience in dealing with earthquakes and we know that in these critical moments time is of the essence. The situation should be dealt with as quickly as possible, because there are people trapped under the ruins in terrifying conditions,” said the prime minister.
“We are talking about two different earthquakes, very serious. Of course it is very difficult to deal with this explosive situation and it will be very difficult to explain to someone who has no experience of such things how difficult the situation is. However, I certainly understand that there is a very important mobilization on the part of Turkey. The first priority now is to rescue people trapped under collapsed buildings. And I believe that later questions will be raised regarding the protection against the cold and the nutrition of the people who are there” he said
The prime minister pointed out that the earthquake has not only affected Turkey but and Syria. “Things are complicated because there is no official official authority to interact with. And of course you know that things were already very difficult even before the earthquake. The situation is really a very big challenge and we believe that we will try to deal with the short-term until we deal with the long-term conditions” Kyriakos Mitsotakis emphasized.
“We try to work through international organizations. My proposal will also be at the level of the European Council that any aid to Syria must be coordinated at the European level. It has nothing to do with geopolitics, nor with the recognition of any regime, but to save people in extremely difficult conditions. It is important that the negotiations for aid to Syria take place through the UN or the EU. We are not ready to have these bilateral negotiations with Syria. The situation is delicate. I cannot comment in detail. We need an international decision and to agree on how to help Syria, taking into account the huge complications, the status of the leadership and the imposed sanctions,” he pointed out.
“In these times, what is important is that we are neighbors and help each other in difficult times. We had a big earthquake in Turkey in 1999, we helped, then we had a big earthquake and Turkey offered help. At the end of the day, it’s time to temporarily put aside our differences and deal with an emergency. We are in a geologically active part of the earth and we have to deal with the consequences. The peoples of Greece and Turkey are friends. We have political differences, but we have nothing to divide with the Turks. I can’t imagine a more powerful image than that of a Greek and a Turkish rescuer saving a 7-year-old girl,” the prime minister concluded.
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