PM Samaras addresses NATO summit

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Thursday addressed the NATO summit taking place in Newport, Wales and expressed Greece’s determination to contribute to the stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan, in the framework of the United Nations and NATO.

Samaras made a special reference to migrant flows from Afghanistan, highlighting the need to deal with the country’s problems. He also urged the Afghan government to take all necessary measures to secure its borders and stem migrant flows.

Earlier in the afternoon, Samaras met with his Albanian counterpart Edi Rama on the sidelines of the NATO summit, in a meeting also attended by Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos. Samaras said the Greek government was pleased with the fact that Albania was granted EU candidate status.

He also raised two important issues: firstly, the human rights of the Greek ethnic minority in Albania and the problems arising as a result of administrative reform in the country; secondly, the bilateral agreement to determine the sea borders between the two countries, which should be based on international law.

Samaras asked Rama to personally intervene in the issue of the Greek minority so that the problems in the region of Himara can be dealt with, while criticizing the nationalist reactions of the Chams. He also underlined that respecting human rights forms part of the EU accession process.

Rama, on his part, thanked the Greek premier for the country’s support to Albania and, with respect to minority issues, said that he personally guaranteed the respect of human rights. He also assured the Greek side that there was no intention to harm the Greek minority. Moreover, Rama referred to the risks from a sharp rise of religious fundamentalism in the region and stressed the good cooperation between the police forces of the two countries in fighting crime.