He spoke in an interview today about all the issues that will be discussed at tomorrow’s 5th Meeting of the Greek-Turkish Joint Economic Committee in Athens, the diplomatic efforts in the Western Balkans and Libya, but also about his multidimensional diplomatic trip in the next two months. at noon, on SKAI’s radio station, the Undersecretary of State for Economic Diplomacy and Extroversion, Costas Frangogiannis.
“The Joint Economic Committee, as well as the Joint Tourism Committee, which met in Smyrna in November 2021” as Mr. Frangogiannis explained “are two of the issues on the positive agenda that we have started with the Turks since May 2021” stressing the importance of the former, as it is reactivated 11 years after its last meeting, in October 2010. The issues to be discussed by the two delegations, with 20 members from each side, “will be related to tourism, energy, transport, coastal shipping, trade and the conditions under which trade may take place “.
Regarding the aggressive rhetoric of Turkey and the extent to which the positive agenda is related to it, Mr. Frangogiannis wanted to clarify that “the fact that we have our differences with the Turks in matters of national, strategic, political importance does not mean that we can not “Understand issues related to the economy, trade, navigation, tourism and other issues.” He added: “We do our job” noting that a positive agenda has three major advantages: on the one hand, it “addresses issues that have been going on for a very long time”, and on the other hand, “there is a channel of communication and it is important that it exists”. as well as the fact that “a positive climate is being created” through which a “better climate can be created for the other important discussions and developments in our region”.
Asked about his upcoming trip to Serbia and the Balkans in general, the Undersecretary of State said that “there are many trips we have planned” although some were “unfortunately canceled” in January. Referring to his program, he said that on the 28th of this month, next Friday, the Supreme Cooperation Council with Serbia will convene, a “top diplomatic meeting in the presence of the prime ministers of the countries and half of the cabinet, at the end of January the Athens new bulgarian government which we had met a few weeks ago in Sofia, on 3-4 February I will go to Northern Macedonia where we have a new government which consists of members of the previous but also new members including the Prime Minister of the country , while on the 14th-15th of the month I have a trip to Norway where I will meet Norwegian companies interested in investing in our country and I will speak to the Norwegian Association of Industries and at the end of March I will make the trip to San Francisco in Silicon Valley which unfortunately “We stopped when we went to Boston.”
“What we are seeking to do is a multidimensional diplomatic expedition,” he said, noting that through dozens of visits to Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, northern Macedonia, Bulgaria and Romania, we want to be present in and to support the European orientation of the Western Balkans “. Referring in particular to the European integration of Albania and Northern Macedonia and the frustration that has been created in the society regarding its implementation, he said that “we support them with technical assistance, we show them the way, we explain to them that it is not something that happens in one day, a week or a month, it takes faith, perseverance and a lot of effort, and on the other hand we try with the rest of our partners in the European Union to focus on what we want Europe to be: a single continent that does not have black holes of 5-6 countries of the Western Balkans “.
He added: “Nature hates the gap. And where a gap is created, someone will come to fill it. And it is not only Turkey. ‘So what we are interested in is the basic European orientation of the Western Balkans. A continent is which will be characterized by the same policy, the same values and the same way of thinking “.
Finally, responding regarding Libya and the strengthening of the Greek presence there, he announced that he will pay a visit to Libya very soon for the fourth time. Also, as he stated, “in the coming weeks we will have a visit of 2-3 Libyan ministers in the direction of financial relations and the restoration of the issue of debts to Greek companies. And we are also interested in seeing some infrastructure projects which have need the country and more specifically we are interested in the port in Benghazi “. At the same time, he clarified that our country supports the small Greek community that exists there, as well as a large Greek business community that is interested in investing in the country. “So my job at the level of Economic Diplomacy is to create the conditions for Greek investments to be made in Libya but also to repay the debts of the Libyan government to Greek companies that are mainly hospitals and transport companies,” he concluded. Mr. Frangogiannis.
Source From: Capital