Any country that wants to join the European Union must abide by the European acquis and international law, President Prokopios Pavlopoulos said on Tuesday evening, addressing visiting Portuguese counterpart Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa during a dinner in his honour at the Presidential Mansion.

He continued to say that any state wishing to join the Union must also resolve all its differences with its neighbours. Pavlopoulos noted the importance of defending Man and humanity in dealing with the refugee issue.

Pavlopoulos said the two peoples are "conscious and consistent Europeans", who are loyal to the principles and values Europe and its culture. He said both countries proved recently, with "huge sacrifices", that they are committed to their EU path and the Eurozone.

On his side, Rebelo de Sousa said the recent lessons of Europe’s difficult past must help member-states move a step further towards a comprehensive monetary and economic union and called for an ambitious approach to the EU’s next multiannual fiscal framework and to fight for the preservation of European unity.

"We fight for life and dignity. We accept thousands of refugees, we face major social and economic challenges, and one day we will all be able to say that we have managed not to call into question the European tradition of hospitality and asylum," he said.

He also expressed Portugal's support towards Greece, noting that "the Portuguese are proud to be standing next to Greece at this difficult time."

The Portuguese president said his country embraces European principles with regard to the protection of its external borders, which means the Greek borders, noting it is the European Union’s common "home".