Greek FM Nikos Kotzias supports recognizing “Palestine”


FM Nikos Kotzias (2013)

In a recent speech in Parliament during the debate on the budget for 2016, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said Greece “supports – with no ifs ands or buts – the creation of a Palestinian state. It maintains brotherly relations with the Palestinian people, and the Hellenic Parliament will soon, it is my hope, recognize Palestine.” He also announced that he recently signed “a decision committing the whole of the Greece public sector to refer to Palestine as Palestine in all cases.”

Kotzias defended then the “sincerity” and the “straightforwardness” of his “multidimensional policy”: “As soon as we see the Americans, we are pro-American. Next, in Moscow, they call us pro-Russian. We go to China, we are called pro-Chinese. In Iran, pro-Iran, and so on. The truth is simple: We defend the country’s values, interests and rights everywhere and at all times, without exception.”

Back in June 2015, Greek FM referred to his Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki as “His Excellency, the foreign minister of Palestine” during a press conference in Athens and promised to create a “Friends of Palestine” group in the European Union. The Times of Israel also reported that Greek PM Alexis Tsipras mentioned the “State of Palestine” in a tweet about his meeting with al-Maliki. The tweet was deleted a few hours after it was posted and replaced with a similar tweet that merely referred to “Palestine.” Tsipras’s diplomatic adviser also called the Israeli embassy in Athens and apologized for the use of the term “State of Palestine.”

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