“We create networks of cooperation, and we build bridges with global forces”

At the "16 + 1 Initiative" in Croatia

Παρέμβαση στην «Πρωτοβουλία 16+1» στην Κροατία.
Παρέμβαση στην «Πρωτοβουλία 16+1» στην Κροατία.

First of all, I would like to thank all of you; it is a great pleasure for me to attend this Summit, today. I represent Greece, which, for the first time, is a full member of the Summit of Central, Eastern and Southeast European countries, with China, a Summit which could now be called “Initiative 17 + 1”, instead of “Initiative 16 + 1”.And this is a very important development for our cooperation and initiative.

Therefore, I would like to thank you all, and especially, the host of the Summit, you, Andrei, and of course the Chinese delegation for their efforts, which reassured that Greece, will be a full member of this initiative, here, in Dubrovnik.

I look forward to working with you all in this context, this initiative, in full respect of the rules and procedures of the European Union, in order to promote economic growth through this very effective platform for cooperation with China.

I think this is a very crucial time for global and regional developments and we must leave the crisis behind us and build new foundations to support our regional and global cooperation.

Therefore, what we are trying to achieve is to face challenges such as the conflicts in our region. More specifically, recently, along with my counterpart, Zoran Zaev, we managed to resolve the name issue between Greece and North Macedonia, which is particularly critical for the Balkan region. Also, recently, we launched significant initiatives to attract investment in the region, such as the Chinese investment in the port of Piraeus, with Cosco; as well as the initiative, “One Belt, One Road”.

Therefore, I believe that all this proves that my country wishes to cooperate very closely with the countries in the region and to establish networks of cooperation, but also to build relations and bridges with major global forces, such as China.

I would like to thank you, once again, and I look forward to working with you all. I believe that today we have become the “Initiative 17 + 1” and this is the good news of the day and I think we will all try to achieve a fruitful cooperation.