Hellenic Foreign Policy : ''Quo vadis''???

Article published on April 6, 2009
community published
Article published on April 6, 2009
These days in Greece, there is a peculiar sentiment over President Obama's visit in Turkey. Athens believed that bilateral relations with the US will enter in a new era, something which is actually happening...in Turkey! Therefore, the Greek Foreign Policy didn't know how to react to this american-turkish flirt.
It is clear that Obama is trying to promote a new role for Turkey which seems to be the ideal example of a western muslim republic. After Obama's personal involvement in order to persuade Turkey to accept the Danish PM as the new NATO secretary general and the public support of the Turkish candidancy in the EU, the Turks welcomed Obama as a rock-star. Meanwhile, the Greek diplomacy managed to arrange a meeting between PM Karamanlis and President Obama one day before his trip to Turkey, during the NATO summit in Strasbourg - Kehl. According to my point of view this was a child-like reaction of the Greek diplomacy : Greece realised that now the US dont regard that Turkey and Greece as a ''package'', which seems to be the reality. Greece is regarded as a European country- no matter it's ''peculiar'' characteristics and weaknesses. Apparently, Turkey is not treated that way : Turkey is a huge country, three times the size of Greece, inhabited by eight million people, which neighbours with the sensitive Middle East area and forms a mixture of a western- even weak- republic and the islamic tradition. The US seem to believe that Turkey can have a key-role in the area, by being the model of the other islamic states. In most international fora, Greece has only issues of ''national importance'' in the agenda, meaning : Greco-turkish relations, the Cyprus issue and the name of FYROM.

The question which rises, is not what Turkey is doing in order to strengthen her position worldwide, but what Greece does or not in order to strenghthen its very own position.

On the contrary, when issues of international interest are on the top of the meetings, Greece doesn't seem to have a position, we just adopt the thesis of our partners. Even in the way we treat our national issues, we do so, by asking the foreigner to take a position in favor of our own ''lawful'', ''true'', ''rightful'' or ''historical'' demands. Unfortunately they are not like this, and we should finally understand that the world is not spinning around our national demands and rights. National issues are extremely important and we should give our best in order to promote them but when you have to face international problems like economic repression, climate change, Iraq, Darfur or nuclear weapons you have to have a position.

We are acting like if international fora were a Holy Synod or a meeting of Saints, where issues are solved according to the ''rights of God''.In order to be ''one'' and not''someone'' you have to have a voice, you have to have proposals. You have to see the world, try to understand it and foresee your position within it in the future. This is foreign policy. Otherwise, you will wondering in every recognition of ''Macedonia'' or ''Nothern Cyprus'' or in every trip of every Obama in every Erdogan.