New Democracy today walked out on a meeting of the National Council on Foreign Relations that was convened in order to discuss plans for the establishment of a Greek National Security Council.

New Democracy shadow foreign minister Yorgos Koumoutsakos cited Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias’ refusal to expand the agenda of the meeting to include pending foreign policy problems as the reason for the walk-out.

“After the foreign minister’s refusal to expand the discussion to include crucial national issues, at a meeting of an institution [the Council] that we respect absolutely, New Democracy decided to depart from the meeting of the National Council of Foreign Affairs,” Koumoutsakos said after attending the meeting for an hour.

Noting that the Council has not been convened for the last year-and-a-half, Koumoutsakos said that the government has not briefed ND on “major developments in the country’s foreign policy”.

He requested that the Council, which has a non-binding consultative role, be briefed on the course of relations with Albania, developments in the Balkans including Kosovo, the course of Greece-Russia relations, and relations with Turkey, in view of Ankara’s pressures for changes regarding the selection of muftis for the Muslim minority in Thrace.

Koumoutsakos said that New Democracy has supported the creation of a National Security Council since 2016, when ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis tabled the proposal in parliament.