Greece fully supports the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq and condemns all illegal intrusions into its territory
Addressing a joint press conference in Athens with his visiting counterpart from Iraq, Fuad Hussein, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said that Greece fully supports the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq and condemns all illegal intrusions into its territory that are euphemistically dubbed “peacekeeping missions”. Within the context of good neighbourly relations, Greece embraces that countries must avoid any form of intimidation he added.
“Greece’s aim is to promote peace and prosperity,” he noted, adding that the Philia Forum held in Athens this month, with the participation of seven countries, was organised in this spirit and was “not an alliance against anyone” but an “effort for multilateral cooperation that is open to all countries that respect International Law and support the cementing of peace in the region.” He deplored the fact that this initiative, instead of prompting a like response, was being “distorted by certain centres, which level accusations and insults against us,” while adding that Greece will not be drawn into using such rhetoric, but strive to de-escalate tension and, when the conditions permit, create a climate of cooperation with all parties.
During the meeting, the two Foreign Ministers discussed bilateral relations at all levels and reviewed ways to develop them to a level consistent with the historical and cultural relations between the two countries. Minister Hussein expressed his gratitude to his Greek counterpart for Greece’s support to remove Iraq from the European list of high-risk countries in the areas of money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as for Greece’s participation in the Global Coalition to stand with Iraq in its war against Da’esh extremist groups and for providing military and logistical support.
Minister Hussein also thanked Greece for receiving Iraqi refugees, as the two sides discussed their conditions and ways to provide humanitarian support and the possibility of joint action to create an enabling environment inside Iraq to encourage them to return voluntarily.
The Minister stated the importance of exchanging visits within a broader framework and extended an invitation to his Greek counterpart and investment and commercial companies to visit Iraq, meet with companies and major Iraqi investors and promote direct dialogue to accelerate the reconstruction movement and stabilise Iraq’s requirements in the sectors of health, culture, education and renewable energy. The two heads of diplomacy further discussed regional and international affairs, emphasising that the region needs stability and sustainability of coordination in order to promote common interests, which will open the way for promising investment opportunities to be reflected in development among the countries of the region.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also met with the visiting Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs, discussing bilateral relations and ways to enhance and develop them to serve the interests of the two friendly countries. Minister Hussein praised Greece’s stance in support of Iraq in various fields, stressing that the Iraqis have achieved successive victories against Da’esh terrorists and that these victories are for the whole world against terrorism, since Iraq fought in defence of its sovereignty and dignity and on behalf of all countries of the world. The meeting was attended by Iraqi Ambassador Shoresh Khaled, MoFA Head of the European Dept., Ambassador Abdul Karim Toama, Minister Dendias and the Head of the Prime Minister’s Diplomatic Office, Ambassador Eleni Sourani.
(Photographs by D.Papamitsos & H.Akriviadis/Eurokinissi.)