Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias stressed the need for Balkan cooperation and denied that the Greece-FYROM naming accord was the product of external pressues, in a speech to the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUI), where he said that Greece is at the centre of a triangle of instability.

Kotzias said that the agreement is “the epitome of a structured and just compromise in the region”, which is a source of inspiration for regional countries which are confronted by longstanding disputes.

Kotzias expressed confidence that there will be a successful conclusion of negotiations with Albania on a series of 10 bilateral issues, including the delineation of the two countries’ Exclusive Economic Zones. (EEZ).

In a speech entitled “Principles of Greek Foreign Policy: Stressing Stability in Southeastern Europe”, Kotzias outlined the framework of a policy bases on “peace, smart power, and dialogue”.

Kotzias said Greece’s interests are to a large extent linked to the Balkans, due to the size of the region’s economy, its human capital and its infrastructure, elements which are necessary for the economic development of the entire region.

“We must play a leading role in establishing a culture of compromise and consensus between the countries of the region,” he said.

Kotzias said that Greece finds itself at the centre of a triangle of instability: Ukraine, Libya, and Iraq, and that this necessitates a policy of “flexibility and adaptability”.