Dendias again raised the issue of "German reparations for World War II"

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias once again raised the issue of reparations during World War II for the Nazi occupation of Greece and asked his German counterpart Annalena Burbock to stop the export of submarines to Turkey.

Nikos Dendias

At a meeting of two senior diplomats in Athens on Friday morning and during joint statements, Dendias said that “for the Greek government and Greek society, the question of reparations from Germany remains open,” Dendias said.

He added that the solution of this issue is fundamental and will be mutually beneficial for both countries, significantly improving Greek-German relations. Dendias also expressed Athens’ concerns about the export of German weapons to Turkey, especially Type 214 submarines, stressing that Greece’s position is unequivocal: “These submarines risk changing the balance of power in the Eastern Mediterranean.” He pointed out that Greece has the same submarines, but it “did not threaten its neighbors and did not behave like a revisionist force.”

The Foreign Minister noted that Greece and Germany “are guided by respect for international law”: “We have been European partners and allies in NATO for decades, and we must show the necessary solidarity.”

He also noted that Turkey, despite its membership in NATO, openly threatens Greece with war, putting forward a casus belli against it, constantly violating its sovereignty and sovereign rights, as well as illegally occupying the territory of Cyprus, a member state EU.

When asked by journalists whether Greece believes that the new German government is providing it withaboutmore support, Dendias said: “I will not compare the two German governments, this right belongs to the German society. But sometimes in the Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during the previous German government, when I asked for help from our partners and specifically from Germany, I felt completely alone.”

Nikos Dendias noted that he did not ask for mediation in Greek-Turkish relations, but expressed “the belief that every European minister, going to Turkey, puts himself on the basis of our common principles and values, European principles and values, and European solidarity” .

Addressing his German counterpart, Dendias said that Greece considers Germany one of its closest allies in Europe, and this is reflected in the expansion of economic relations: the volume of bilateral trade in 2021 exceeded 10 billion euros, despite the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, 3 million German tourists have visited Greece and the number is expected to increase this year, he added, also mentioning cooperation on renewable energy investments in Greece.

Annalena Burbock

“The islands of the Aegean Sea are the territory of Greece, and no one has the right to dispute this,” the German Foreign Minister emphasized for her part, referring to relations with Turkey. “My own government will not allow any doubt about this,” she added.

Annalena Bedbrock noted that “Turkey is of great concern to you because today everything is not the same as 15 years ago. It is clear to me that conflicts between NATO partners must be resolved through discussion.”

When asked by Greece about German reparations during World War II, Burbock reiterated that Germany, unlike Greece, considers the legal issue closedbut this does not mean that Germany’s responsibility for its history is removed.

“Therefore, I wanted to start my visit here with the Kommandatur detention center and the Holocaust memorials,” Burbock said. Reconciliation could include investment in towns and villages affected by the German occupation, as well as support for the Jewish community in Greece, she said.

After a visit to Athens, Burbock flew to Istanbul, where she met with her Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Mevlut Cavusoglu

According to media reports from Turkey, Cavusoglu criticized Burbock for her support of Greece, saying that Germany was no longer maintaining the usual balance with the two countries.

State News Agency

Greece is violating principles by arming Aegean Sea islands, siding with a country just because it is an EU member is against int’l law: Cavusoglu tells Baerbock

— ANADOLU AGENCY (@anadoluagency) July 29, 2022

” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Anadolu reported early Friday evening:Greece violates principles by arming the islands of the Aegean, explaining that it is a member of the EU, although this is contrary to international law. Germany had a balanced position in the past, Turkey expects this balanced position to continue.”

PS It seems to me that at this time it was not very reasonable to blackmail Germany with the issue of reparations. Burbock, as a diplomat, answered very evasively, but she does not determine the policy of Germany – despite the position, she is only her guide.

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