There is “absolutely no plan, or thought, for Greece to welcome Palestinians coming from any type of expulsion from Palestine”, noted Foreign Affairs Minister George Gerapetritis on Monday.
Speaking at a plenary session, the minister was responding to a question by far-right Spartiates MP Alexandros Zervas, who called on the government to clarify its migration policy against the danger of colonization by design. Zervas also mentioned US Ambassador to Greece George Tsunis and a recent statement of his at the Circle Of Ideas conference in Athens. Zervas claimed that Tsunis had talked about giving Greek nationality to migrants after five years of stay.
Granting Greek citizenship is regulated by law in accordance with the Greek Constitution, noted Gerapetritis. “It is not determined by anything else, it is not influenced by any statement of any foreign factor, nor the [US] ambassador in Athens,” he added.
There is no such thing as a “directed colonization”, noted the minister, pointing out that it is “precisely the border guarding policy that this government has introduced which has reduced the illegal flow of migrants by 90% over the last 4.5 years.”
In response to another question by Plefsi Eleftherias MP Alexandros Kazamias concerning the Greek government’s stance on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Palestine, Gerapetritis said that he is in contact with both sides and with his counterparts. He also mentioned that he will, later on Monday, be participating in a video conference of the EU Foreign Affairs Council on the situation in the Middle East, in “the hope that there will be an immediate humanitarian pause so that the phenomenon of the suppression of the rights of civilians will stop.”
Kazamias said the Greek government is not, as he said it should, keeping its distance from the government of Israel regarding the matter.
Here, Gerapetritis said that Greece always stands for peace and the full implementation of International Law. The humanitarian crisis in Palestine, said Gerapetritis, must stop immediately, and this is why Greece supports a humanitarian pause to allow for goods and supplies to reach people there.
Gerapetritis also categorically denied the passage of foreign military forces from Greece through the military airport of Elefsina, as charged by Niki MP Giorgos Rountas.
Replying, the minister pointed out that “Greece has actually been serving as a pillar for humanitarian aid”, therefore “the stopover of the American aircraft has to do with a humanitarian mission to evacuate civilians from the war-torn region of the Middle East,” adding that “no facilities have been made available to American aircraft except for aircraft parking areas.”