Tuesday , May 18 2021

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - MARCH 2021

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

    Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia have excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas   Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman visited Athens and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias on March 12th. The two Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia had excellent relations, with …

Read More »

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Athens

            Greece maintains close historic bonds with the Palestinian people   Greece is in favour of a just, viable and comprehensive two-State solution, within the boundaries of 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, in accordance with the UN relevant Resolutions and in …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - FEBRUARY 2021

Invitation: Greek House Davos – May 20th 2021

  Greek House Davos, the first Greek multifunctional hub of entrepreneurship and networking in the environment of the World Economic Forum, is organizing a public Virtual Roundtable under the title “Rights, Representation, Resources: Fostering Gender Equality in the 21st century” on Thursday, May 20, at 17:00 (Athens Time), which will …

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Virtual Economic Trade Mission: USA & B2B – 19th May 2021

     INVITATION The Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, EVEA welcomes online Business Mission from the Washington DC Chamber of Commerce ( Washington  DC ) on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. In addition to the official part of the event where there will be speeches from both sides, there will be business meetings ( B2B  meetings) between Greek and US companies, through the Zoom enterprises. The …

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Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

    Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia have excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas   Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman visited Athens and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias on March 12th. The two Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia had excellent relations, with …

Read More »

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Athens

            Greece maintains close historic bonds with the Palestinian people   Greece is in favour of a just, viable and comprehensive two-State solution, within the boundaries of 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, in accordance with the UN relevant Resolutions and in …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - FEBRUARY 2021

Invitation: Greek House Davos – May 20th 2021

  Greek House Davos, the first Greek multifunctional hub of entrepreneurship and networking in the environment of the World Economic Forum, is organizing a public Virtual Roundtable under the title “Rights, Representation, Resources: Fostering Gender Equality in the 21st century” on Thursday, May 20, at 17:00 (Athens Time), which will …

Read More »

Virtual Economic Trade Mission: USA & B2B – 19th May 2021

     INVITATION The Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, EVEA welcomes online Business Mission from the Washington DC Chamber of Commerce ( Washington  DC ) on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. In addition to the official part of the event where there will be speeches from both sides, there will be business meetings ( B2B  meetings) between Greek and US companies, through the Zoom enterprises. The …

Read More »

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

    Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia have excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas   Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman visited Athens and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias on March 12th. The two Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia had excellent relations, with …

Read More »

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Athens

            Greece maintains close historic bonds with the Palestinian people   Greece is in favour of a just, viable and comprehensive two-State solution, within the boundaries of 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, in accordance with the UN relevant Resolutions and in …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - DECEMBER 2020

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

    Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia have excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas   Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman visited Athens and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias on March 12th. The two Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia had excellent relations, with …

Read More »

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Athens

            Greece maintains close historic bonds with the Palestinian people   Greece is in favour of a just, viable and comprehensive two-State solution, within the boundaries of 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, in accordance with the UN relevant Resolutions and in …

Read More »

Foreign Minister holds talks in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  “Further enhancing important bilateral cooperation in all fields, starting with political dialogue”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias emphasises that Greece has a “firm commitment to the integration of the Western Balkan countries in the European Union; as was reflected in the Thessaloniki Agenda which was adopted back in 2003.” …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with counterpart in London

    Greece and the United Kingdom have a coincidence of views on regional issues   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had an extensive conversation with the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in London on February 2nd, where there was a coincidence of views on the Cyprus issue, but they also …

Read More »

Visit of the Foreign Minister of Iraq to Greece

    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 …

Read More »

Visit of the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister to Athens

  The Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution; Greece underscores the historic role Russia played in its successful outcome   Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko recently travelled to Athens, meeting with top Greek officials and diplomats as part of regular bilateral contacts. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with the visiting …

Read More »

Foreign Minister of North Macedonia in Athens for talks

  Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani pictured with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. Building a “sincere and strategic partnership relationship based on mutual trust and support”   Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani, at the …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with counterparts in Rome and Lisbon

    Discussing bilateral and European issues and developments in the Mediterranean   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio in Rome on January 13th, discussing bilateral and European issues, as well as developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. Following their meeting Minister Dendias said: “Today …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - NOVEMBER 2020

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

    Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia have excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas   Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman visited Athens and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias on March 12th. The two Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia had excellent relations, with …

Read More »

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Athens

            Greece maintains close historic bonds with the Palestinian people   Greece is in favour of a just, viable and comprehensive two-State solution, within the boundaries of 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, in accordance with the UN relevant Resolutions and in …

Read More »

Foreign Minister holds talks in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  “Further enhancing important bilateral cooperation in all fields, starting with political dialogue”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias emphasises that Greece has a “firm commitment to the integration of the Western Balkan countries in the European Union; as was reflected in the Thessaloniki Agenda which was adopted back in 2003.” …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with counterpart in London

    Greece and the United Kingdom have a coincidence of views on regional issues   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had an extensive conversation with the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in London on February 2nd, where there was a coincidence of views on the Cyprus issue, but they also …

Read More »

Visit of the Foreign Minister of Iraq to Greece

    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 …

Read More »

Visit of the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister to Athens

  The Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution; Greece underscores the historic role Russia played in its successful outcome   Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko recently travelled to Athens, meeting with top Greek officials and diplomats as part of regular bilateral contacts. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with the visiting …

Read More »

Foreign Minister of North Macedonia in Athens for talks

  Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani pictured with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. Building a “sincere and strategic partnership relationship based on mutual trust and support”   Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani, at the …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with counterparts in Rome and Lisbon

    Discussing bilateral and European issues and developments in the Mediterranean   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio in Rome on January 13th, discussing bilateral and European issues, as well as developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. Following their meeting Minister Dendias said: “Today …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - OCTOBER 2020

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

    Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia have excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas   Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman visited Athens and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias on March 12th. The two Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia had excellent relations, with …

Read More »

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Athens

            Greece maintains close historic bonds with the Palestinian people   Greece is in favour of a just, viable and comprehensive two-State solution, within the boundaries of 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, in accordance with the UN relevant Resolutions and in …

Read More »

Foreign Minister holds talks in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  “Further enhancing important bilateral cooperation in all fields, starting with political dialogue”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias emphasises that Greece has a “firm commitment to the integration of the Western Balkan countries in the European Union; as was reflected in the Thessaloniki Agenda which was adopted back in 2003.” …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with counterpart in London

    Greece and the United Kingdom have a coincidence of views on regional issues   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had an extensive conversation with the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in London on February 2nd, where there was a coincidence of views on the Cyprus issue, but they also …

Read More »

Visit of the Foreign Minister of Iraq to Greece

    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 …

Read More »

Visit of the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister to Athens

  The Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution; Greece underscores the historic role Russia played in its successful outcome   Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko recently travelled to Athens, meeting with top Greek officials and diplomats as part of regular bilateral contacts. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with the visiting …

Read More »

Foreign Minister of North Macedonia in Athens for talks

  Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani pictured with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. Building a “sincere and strategic partnership relationship based on mutual trust and support”   Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani, at the …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with counterparts in Rome and Lisbon

    Discussing bilateral and European issues and developments in the Mediterranean   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio in Rome on January 13th, discussing bilateral and European issues, as well as developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. Following their meeting Minister Dendias said: “Today …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - SEPTEMBER 2020

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

    Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia have excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas   Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman visited Athens and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias on March 12th. The two Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia had excellent relations, with …

Read More »

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Athens

            Greece maintains close historic bonds with the Palestinian people   Greece is in favour of a just, viable and comprehensive two-State solution, within the boundaries of 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, in accordance with the UN relevant Resolutions and in …

Read More »

Foreign Minister holds talks in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  “Further enhancing important bilateral cooperation in all fields, starting with political dialogue”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias emphasises that Greece has a “firm commitment to the integration of the Western Balkan countries in the European Union; as was reflected in the Thessaloniki Agenda which was adopted back in 2003.” …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with counterpart in London

    Greece and the United Kingdom have a coincidence of views on regional issues   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had an extensive conversation with the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in London on February 2nd, where there was a coincidence of views on the Cyprus issue, but they also …

Read More »

Visit of the Foreign Minister of Iraq to Greece

    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 …

Read More »

Visit of the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister to Athens

  The Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution; Greece underscores the historic role Russia played in its successful outcome   Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko recently travelled to Athens, meeting with top Greek officials and diplomats as part of regular bilateral contacts. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with the visiting …

Read More »

Foreign Minister of North Macedonia in Athens for talks

  Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani pictured with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. Building a “sincere and strategic partnership relationship based on mutual trust and support”   Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani, at the …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with counterparts in Rome and Lisbon

    Discussing bilateral and European issues and developments in the Mediterranean   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio in Rome on January 13th, discussing bilateral and European issues, as well as developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. Following their meeting Minister Dendias said: “Today …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - APRIL-MAY 2020

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

    Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia have excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas   Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman visited Athens and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias on March 12th. The two Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia had excellent relations, with …

Read More »

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Athens

            Greece maintains close historic bonds with the Palestinian people   Greece is in favour of a just, viable and comprehensive two-State solution, within the boundaries of 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, in accordance with the UN relevant Resolutions and in …

Read More »

Foreign Minister holds talks in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  “Further enhancing important bilateral cooperation in all fields, starting with political dialogue”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias emphasises that Greece has a “firm commitment to the integration of the Western Balkan countries in the European Union; as was reflected in the Thessaloniki Agenda which was adopted back in 2003.” …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with counterpart in London

    Greece and the United Kingdom have a coincidence of views on regional issues   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had an extensive conversation with the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in London on February 2nd, where there was a coincidence of views on the Cyprus issue, but they also …

Read More »

Visit of the Foreign Minister of Iraq to Greece

    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 …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - MARCH 2020

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

 

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias gives joint statements to the press with visiting Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman.

 

Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia have excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas

 

Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman visited Athens and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias on March 12th. The two Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia had excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas, and that their meeting in Athens indicated additional strengthening of dialogue and cooperation.

In their joint statements to the press, Minister Radman thanked Minister Dendias for the Greek support of Croatia’s accession to MED7, OECD, Eurozone and the Schengen Area.

The two heads of diplomacy underlined the importance of continuing EU enlargement to Southeast Europe and of Brussels having a consistent policy so that candidates do not lose the European perspective. Minister Dendias also reiterated their will for an intergovernmental conference with North Macedonia, as well as with Albania, as soon as they meet the criteria set by the European Council.

The Greek Minster also referred to the Croatian non-paper on the European perspective of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which Greece supports, and both sides talked in detail about issues concerning Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Addressing a joint press conference, Minister Dendias also noted that discussions had included regional cooperation issues, mentioning Greece’s upcoming Chairmanship of the South-East European Cooperation Process.

Ahead of the upcoming meeting of the European Council, Minister Dendias said that they also discussed EU-Turkey relations and that he had the opportunity to underscore that the report to be submitted by the institutions should be balanced. “It should have proposals for both a positive agenda and the prospect of taking restrictive measures if our neighbour Turkey again gives in to the temptation to return to unlawful conduct,” he stressed.

Minister Dendias also congratulated Croatia on chairing the Council of the EU the previous year, stressing that Greece and Croatia had excellent cooperation within the EU. He recalled Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković’s visit to the Greek-Turkish border in Evros in March 2020 together with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and heads of EU institutions, when an attempt was made to provoke a mass influx of migrants into European territory.

The two delegations in conference, including Croatian Ambassador Aleksandar Sunko.Both sides mentioned the need to create a framework of close cooperation and dialogue between their two Ministries of Foreign Affairs.

Minister Dendias said that it is very important to Greece to create closer cooperation with Croatia.  “Because we do not have any bilateral disputes, we must work even more on a positive agenda, promoting our economic relations, promoting our efforts towards a common understanding of problems, joint responses to problems and a shared outlook on our future on the Mediterranean. A common outlook on how to manage the maritime-zone issues created by the Mediterranean that can and must be dealt within the framework of the International Law of the Sea – which is International Law – to which Croatia is a party, both individually and as a Member of the EU,” he pointed out.

(Photos: Y.Panagopoulos/Eurokinissi & H.Akriviadis/MoFA.)

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Athens

 

Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, extends a warm greeting to visiting Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki and Ambassador of Palestine to Greece, Marwan E.M. Toubassi.

 

 

 

 

 

Greece maintains close historic bonds
with the Palestinian people

 

Greece is in favour of a just, viable and comprehensive two-State solution, within the boundaries of 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, in accordance with the UN relevant Resolutions and in accordance with International Law, underlined Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias during his meeting with the visiting Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki in Athens on March 16th.

 

Greece, noted Minister Dendias, maintains close historic bonds with the Palestinian people as it is a western country that gave its active support at a time when Palestine did not have the international recognition or the support it has today, adding that Greece wishes to enhance its relations with Palestine on a bilateral and multilateral level. “We are looking forward to the intensification of contacts and the two Foreign Ministries’ General Secretariats meeting on April 12th,” he said.

Minister Dendias repeated Greece’s steadfast position regarding the peace process, saying that Greece supports a just and viable solution for the two countries, with Jerusalem as the capital of both, according to International Law and UN Resolutions.

He also underscored the special importance Greece attaches to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem, which is recognised as a prime trustee of Holy Pilgrimage sites.

 

On his part, the Palestinian Foreign Minister said that it had been a warm and cordial meeting between friends. He reported a “positive discussion”, adding that they share the same views on many issues in terms of the two countries’ relations and the deepening of bilateral relations in many sectors, such as economic, trade and educational ties, among others.

“Greece accepts International Law and on this basis we cooperate with Greece as a friendly nation,” he said, underlining that he expects Minister Dendias to visit Palestine to “continue the vital dialogue”.

He said that they discussed “the issue of the peace process in the Middle East, the situation in Palestine, the preparations for the elections in Palestine and Israel, as well as collaboration in the economic sector.” “We consider our relationship with Greece to be very deep and based on friendship, history and cooperation that goes back a long way,” he said.

Regarding the Greek-Turkish exploratory talks taking place in Athens on the same day, Minister Dendias said that Greece is coming to these with a good will. He stressed that the fundamental principles of Greek Foreign Policy are firm and full commitment to International Law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea – which Greece and Palestine have both ratified – and the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.

(Photos: S.Dimitropoulos/Eurokinissi & H.Akriviadis/MoFA.)

Foreign Minister holds talks in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias pictured in BiH with his counterpart Dr. Bisera Turković.

 

“Further enhancing important bilateral cooperation in all fields, starting with political dialogue”

 

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias emphasises that Greece has a “firm commitment to the integration of the Western Balkan countries in the European Union; as was reflected in the Thessaloniki Agenda which was adopted back in 2003.”

 

With the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zoran Tegeltija.

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias recently travelled to Bosnia and Herzegovina where he had successive meetings in Sarajevo with his counterpart Dr. Bisera Turković, Deputy Chairperson of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina; the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zoran Tegeltija; Members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik (Chairman), Željko Komšić and Šefik Džaferović; and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josip Brkić. The talks focused on, among other things, strengthening of bilateral cooperation, the European perspective of the Western Balkans, regional security and stability and wider regional developments.

The Greek Foreign Minister meets with Members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik (Chairman), Željko Komšić and Šefik Džaferović.

 

Foreign Minister Dendias promised, among other things, to assist in their path toward European Union membership. In speaking with his Bosnian counterpart Bisera Turković, Minister Dendias said “we had the opportunity to address ways of further enhancing our important bilateral cooperation in all fields, starting with political dialogue.”

Minister Dendias further emphasised that his meetings in BiH were about boosting economic cooperation and cultural exchanges. “In this regard, it is a particular pleasure for me to underline that courses of Modern Greek are being taught in Sarajevo and Banja Luka. I hope that when conditions allow, the teaching will resume of course with the physical presence of all students,” he said.

As the Greek Minister observed, the pandemic is a factor we have to deal with and has hit hard the whole world. This is the definition of a global challenge. And this is also the test of solidarity. “As we have repeatedly stressed, we need to support the countries of the Western Balkans in order to address the effects of the pandemic as a European Union. In this vein we have decided to provide concrete and tangible support to the hospitals of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he added.

With Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josip Brkić.

 

It has been decided, as Minister Dendias announced to provide financial aid to three hospitals. First of all, support the ‘Abdullah Nakas’ hospital in Sarajevo through a donation of 50,000 Euros. Also support the ‘University Clinical Centre of the Republika Srpska’ in Banja Luka with the same amount. Last, but not least, it will be provided 30,000 Euros to the ‘University Clinical Centre of Mostar’. “This is also an occasion to reaffirm my country’s firm commitment to the integration of the Western Balkan countries in the European Union. Greece joined the European Economic Community four decades ago, being the first country of the Balkan Peninsula to do so,” he said. “In a few years, we could envisage a Union, in which at least one quarter of its Members will be Balkan countries. Something that would have been unimaginable just thirty years ago,” he added.

Minister Dendias emphasised that “Our commitment is long-term. It was reflected in the Thessaloniki Agenda which was adopted back in 2003. We remain fully engaged in this process. Because we believe that it constitutes the sole path to peace, stability and prosperity both in the region, but also in the European Union as a whole.” The countries of the region should eventually join the EU, of course on the basis of conditionality and on the own merit principles. Greece hopes that Bosnia and Herzegovina will take the necessary steps that will help in bringing the country closer to the EU. “We therefore hope that Bosnia and Herzegovina will take the necessary steps that will help in bringing the country closer to the EU,” he said, adding that his trip was “in order to submit proposals regarding technical assistance” to implement EU policies.

Minister Dendias also took the opportunity to refer to Turkish delinquency in the East Mediterranean. “Allow me also to underline the importance we attach to the need for Bosnia and Herzegovina to align itself with EU Positions and Decisions,” the head of Greek diplomacy said; “and notably those regarding the Eastern Mediterranean.” “We value our cooperation within the context of the Regional Cooperation Council, which has its Headquarters right here in Sarajevo,” Minister Dendias said. “We also look forward to further enhance this cooperation during the upcoming Greek Chairmanship of the South-East European Cooperation Process starting this July,” he continued.

“In conclusion, let me highlight the importance of promoting good neighbourly relations on the solid foundation of International Law,” Minister Dendias pointed out. “This has been Greece’s position for decades and I have to say that we are happy to see that most unfortunately not all, but most of the countries of the broader region espouse the same fundamental principles,” he stressed. “Likely, Greece and Bosnia-Herzegovina are on the same page on this,” he added, before inviting Minister Turković to visit Athens.

The two delegations in conference headed by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Deputy Chairperson of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina Dr. Bisera Turković.

 

Bilateral relations between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Greece are excellent, without open issues, but also with significant space for improvement, especially in the field of economy and foreign trade, BiH Foreign Affairs Minister Bisera Turković said following her meeting with her Greek counterpart. The good relations between the two countries, she added, are confirmed by the signed bilateral agreements in the field of economy, investment protection, defence, traffic, culture, education and science. “These agreements represent the foundation that corresponds to our future efforts to improve cooperation and I believe that cooperation will continue, especially in the field of energy,” said Minister Turković.

She recalled the business forums held between BiH and Greece in Sarajevo and Athens in the past years and expressed her willingness and hope for them to continue to be held in the post-pandemic era. Minister Turković said it is in BiH’s interest to improve its foreign trade with Greece in the future, which currently does not meet expectations. “We deeply appreciate Greece’s position that the European perspective of the Western Balkans should be a priority not only for those countries, but also for the EU. Within this context, regional cooperation, which has recently been strengthened through the signing of a declaration on the common regional market under the Berlin Process, is extremely important for us,” said Minister Turković.

According to the BiH Minister, in their discussion they paid special attention to the crisis that is increasingly burdening BiH, briefing her Greek colleague in detail on the latest developments around the migrant situation.

“Our position is that the EU’s involvement must be strengthened in resolving this issue and that it is not fair that only two cantons in the Federation of BiH bear the burden of the entire migrant crisis. Therefore, I reiterate my position that the burden of the crisis must be distributed to the whole country and that our border must be strengthened as soon as possible in such manner that migrants will not be able to enter,” said Minister Turković.

(Photographs by H.Akriviadis/Office to the Minister of Foreign Affairs)

Foreign Minister meets with counterpart in London

 

 

Greece and the United Kingdom have a coincidence of views on regional issues

 

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had an extensive conversation with the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in London on February 2nd, where there was a coincidence of views on the Cyprus issue, but they also stressed the need to apply International Law when resolving disputes.

Greece and the United Kingdom both exercise their foreign policy based on International Law, stated Foreign Affairs Minister Dendias. “Both countries comply with our contractual obligations arising from International Law…, therefore we expect our neighbours to do the same,” he noted.

The Minister was speaking after meetings with British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Dominic Raab and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister for the European Neighbourhood and the Americas Wendy Morton. It is noted that the last visit of a European Foreign Minister to London took place last summer. The last visit by a Greek Foreign Minister to London was held back in 2013.

 

Minister Dendias briefed Secretary Raab and Deputy Minister Morton on the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, before noting that Greece expects the United Kingdom “as a permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council, and given its significant abilities, to contribute in creating in the Eastern Mediterranean a framework of implementation for the rules of International Law and of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” which the UK has signed.

The British side showed great interest in the Greek positions regarding both relations with Turkey and the Cyprus issue. The British Foreign Secretary acknowledged that the UK’s relations with Turkey are close, but noted that they are not competitive with its relations with Greece. On the contrary, he repeatedly stressed his readiness to convey messages to Ankara, when and if the need arises. He fully agreed with his Greek counterpart regarding the universal application of the International Law of the Sea “in the Eastern Mediterranean, in the China Sea and in the Straits of Hormuz,” as he pointed out.

Regarding the Cyprus issue, the British Foreign Secretary repeated without hesitation that the only framework for resolving the issue is a bizonal, bicommunal federation, based on the UN Security Council Resolutions. Within this context, the prospects of the next informal five-party meeting were examined. On his part, the Greek Foreign Minister reiterated Greece’s positions on the matter, which calls for a “bizonal, bicommunal federation based on the conclusions of the UN Security Council and which must also be compatible with European Law.” He also pointed out that this meeting should not give the impression that this is the last chance for the resolution of the Cyprus issue.

Minister Dendias mentioned that discussions also focused on bilateral cooperation of the two countries in the post-Brexit era, “to establish a strategic partnership” between Greece and the United Kingdom, which have traditionally been allies in all conflicts over the last 200 years.

Regarding the bilateral strategic relationship, Minister Dendias referred to specific areas that could be included in a new agreement, such as education, culture, trade relations, the fight against terrorism, as well as migration and refugees. These areas could be developed within a framework agreement, under the coordinating role of the two Foreign Ministries.

“We are linked to Great Britain by many things; first of all, common values. Greece is the birthplace of Democracy. The United Kingdom is the birthplace of Parliamentary Democracy.” “And, as we are celebrating the bicentennial of the Modern Greek State, I reminded my interlocutors of some British figures who championed Greek independence and prosperity – George Canning, William Gladstone, David Lloyd George, Winston Churchill. I told them that no Greek can forget Lord Byron; there is no Greek who does not know Admiral Codrington’s contribution to Greek independence,” he highlighted.

“At the same time, Greece and Great Britain are linked by the Greek community in Britain, the British community in Greece and the millions of British visitors Greece welcomes every year. There are also the priceless monuments of our cultural heritage, which are housed in the British Museum, and a framework obviously has to be formulated for their return to Greece,” the Greek Foreign Minister said.

(Photos: H.Akriviadis/MoFA.)

Visit of the Foreign Minister of Iraq to Greece

 

The visiting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq, Fuad Hussein, pictured during his meetings with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

 

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.

 

Addressing a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

 

“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.

The two delegations in conference.

 

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.)

Visit of the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister to Athens

 

The Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution; Greece underscores the historic role Russia played in its successful outcome

 

Greek-Russian timeless ties of friendship between the two peoples reaffirmed during talks held in Athens between visiting Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko and Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko recently travelled to Athens, meeting with top Greek officials and diplomats as part of regular bilateral contacts. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with the visiting Russian Deputy Minister, discussing bilateral relations of the two countries and focusing upon economic and energy cooperation and developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis receives Deputy Foreign Minister Grushko.Greek-Russian relations were the focus of the meeting between Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis and Deputy Minister Grushko. During their meeting, which took place in a very friendly atmosphere, they discussed bilateral cooperation and regional issues. Referring to the Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution, Alternate Minister Varvitsiotis underscored the historic role Russia played in its successful outcome, stressing the timeless ties of friendship between the two peoples. He added that this year, the Greek-Russian Year of History, is an opportunity to further strengthen the ties between the two sides.

As co-chair of the Greek-Russian Joint Interministerial Committee, the Alternate Minister noted that he looks forward to the next JIC meeting in the near future, underscoring that Greece wants to see the recovery of bilateral trade and to attract Russian investments. Alternate Minister Varvitsiotis welcomed the recent decision of the Russian authorities to restore flights between the Russian Federation and Greece on 8th February 2021.

In statements of the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, which were made to correspondents of Russian media in Athens, he stressed that the Mediterranean region “must remain a zone of peace and cooperation”. He added that it is necessary to exclude the involvement of the territory of friendly countries in the geopolitical game which is related to the containment of Russia.

Deputy Minister Grushko also described the path of sanctions chosen by the EU as “slippery”. However, he acknowledged that Greece is among those “who have expressed considerable scepticism about the effectiveness of these sanctions”. That is why Moscow, while maintaining its views that this is an “illegal policy tool” which actually harms the EU’s interests, considers that Athens implements them as a Member of NATO and the EU. He said this “should not be seen as an obstacle to the development of relations with Greece.”

He was also asked about what is happening in the Eastern Mediterranean and the disputes between Greece and Turkey. As for Greece’s right to extend its maritime territory to 12 miles, Deputy Minister Grushko described the Russian position as “completely transparent and unchanged”. He said that “we call on our partners and stakeholders to resolve their disputes through dialogue, as provided for in the 1982 Law of the Sea.” “At the same time, States have the right to define their territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zones based on the provisions of this Treaty,” he noted.

In view of the new five-party consultations on the Cyprus issue, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister stated that Russia’s position remains unchanged. He said Moscow’s position corresponds to the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions “which indicate that the solution should be based on the bi-zonal bi-communal principle,” adding that “obsolete military guarantees must be replaced by UN Security Council guarantees.”

Finally, he also named the prospect of certification and introduction of the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine into the EU, since in Moscow’s view “just as there are no borders for coronavirus, there should be no borders for vaccines and politics when tackling the pandemic.”

(Photographs by H. Akriviadis/MoFA & V.Rebapis/Eurokinissi.)

Foreign Minister of North Macedonia in Athens for talks

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani pictured with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

Building a “sincere and strategic partnership relationship based on mutual trust and support”

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani, at the Foreign Ministry on January 14th. Talks focused on bilateral political and economic relations, including cooperation on responding to the pandemic, and on regional issues, with emphasis on the European perspective of the Western Balkans.

Following their talks, the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs signed three Memoranda of Cooperation; more specifically, in the field of Diplomatic Training, in the field of Civil Protection, as well as between Enterprise Greece and Invest North Macedonia.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Northern Macedonia concluded his visit to Athens by meeting with the State and political leadership of Greece. He was first received by the President of the Republic, Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou, discussing the progress of bilateral relations in the era of the Prespes Agreement, the situation in the region and the European perspective of North Macedonia.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani pictured with President Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou.

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani pictured with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

 

Minister Osmani was then received by his Greek counterpart. In joint statements following the signing of the three agreements, Minister Dendias noted that “we cannot allow the creation of a stability gap in the Western Balkans,” while warning that the gap could be easily filled by other non-European forces that pursue revisionism.

Greece has historically and actively supported the Western Balkan countries and their accession prospects, he noted, “though always on the basis of the conditionalities, meritocracy and methodology of the EU.” “We firmly believe that this is the only path for peace and stability in the region. Europe has an obligation to keep European enlargement on the table,” Minister Dendias added.

The Foreign Minister also said that Greece is ready to provide technical assistance and to support the efforts of the Western Balkans for EU accession but noted that “we must have a fully consistent and good faith implementation of the Prespes Agreement in order to have progress.” “Two years after the Prespes Agreement came into force, we acknowledge that there has been a very great effort for its implementation. But, of course, greater progress is required,” he said.

This included efforts to consistently implement the use of the agreed name and terms by all public and private entities, including websites, and eradicate the problems of ancient symbols and the Vergina Sun from public spaces and for public uses, he noted. ”What is absolutely clear in the Prespes Agreement is clarity on what happened in antiquity,” Minister Dendias said, pointing out that it was clear and has been accepted by North Macedonia that it was not part of the military campaign of Alexander the Great, nor took part in its major battles and other historic moments.

Minister Dendias also highlighted the fact that Greece can be North Macedonia’s greatest ally and friend, as the country’s stability and prosperity was also in its own interests, while Greece has welcomed North Macedonia as an ally in NATO and patrols its skies. He also thanked the neighbouring country for aligning itself with the common EU position on Turkey, saying that this was noted and appreciated by Greece.

Referring to the three memoranda of understanding signed, he said these have taken bilateral relations one step further. “We must further encourage trade and investments… as these can create new jobs and prosperity in both countries, but also the surrounding region,” he said.

He noted that Greece has made a great effort to provide support in terms of supplying North Macedonia with vaccines against Covid within an EU framework, pledging to continue this effort.

North Macedonia’s Foreign Minister thanked Greece for its support of his country’s EU accession prospects and the start of accession negotiations, saying it was the basis of a long friendship between the two countries and that Greece and North Macedonia are “strategic partners and with the commitment to implement the Prespes Agreement, we will continue to develop and strengthen this strategic partnership relationship.” He said the intention of the two countries was to progress further than good neighbourly relations in order to build a “sincere and strategic partnership relationship based on mutual trust and support.”

Minister Osmani said that the pandemic had shown the importance of cooperation between countries in civil protection, especially when these countries had shared borders, while he also highlighted the various infrastructure projects that spanned the borders of the two countries, such as the interconnector pipeline for natural gas, improvements to road and rail networks and North Macedonia’s aim to participate in the FSRU in Alexandroupolis and open up a new border crossing.

“I expect that in the coming months, as the restrictive measures for the pandemic are eased, we will have an increase in cooperation between us and also the implementation of the activities outlined in the action plan of the Prespes Agreement,” he added. He called for more bilateral meetings and agreements on all levels, as well as more activities outlined in the action plan that will create greater trust between the two countries, emphasising the importance of a “lasting friendship” between them.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also met with North Macedonia’s visiting Foreign Affairs Minister Bujar Osmani and discussed the development of economic cooperation and connectivity between the two countries.

During the meeting in the Maximos Mansion, they also discussed North Macedonia’s prospects for EU accession, Government sources said. Premier Mitsotakis reiterated that the provisions of the Prespes Agreement must be implemented fully, consistently and in good faith.

The meeting was also attended by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy and Extroversion Kostas Fragogiannis.

(Photographs by T.Bolari, Y.Panagopoulos & H.Akriviadis/Eurokinissi)

Foreign Minister meets with counterparts in Rome and Lisbon

 

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio in Rome

 

Discussing bilateral and European issues and developments in the Mediterranean

 

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio in Rome on January 13th, discussing bilateral and European issues, as well as developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Following their meeting Minister Dendias said: “Today we had a very interesting discussion with Luigi Di Maio. We have covered all the issues in our bilateral relations, namely the ratification of the agreement on the maritime zones with Italy, as well as economic issues and issues regarding the wider region and Turkish provocativeness. I briefed him on the resumption of the exploratory talks with Turkey on January 25th, Turkey’s general behaviour in the Eastern Mediterranean and even issues relating to Libya and the East Med. We also discussed the migration issue. I believe it is extremely useful to have a constant and sincere exchange of views with Italy. I also told him that, even though we respect their decision and stance, the Greek side would have wished for stronger Italian support on the issue of sanctions against Turkey.”

Minister Dendias meets with his Portuguese counterpart Augusto Santos Silva in Lisbon.

 

Later, Minister Dendias visited Portugal and met in Lisbon with his Portuguese counterpart Augusto Santos Silva. Talks in Lisbon between the two Foreign Ministers focused on the priorities of the Portuguese European Union Council Presidency, developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, the migration crisis and the European Union enlargement process. Portugal currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, for the first half of 2021.

The two Ministers’ meeting was held two days after the Lisbon visit of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who met with Prime Minister Antonio Costa, noted Minister Dendias. The Greek Minister said he was briefed extensively on the priorities of the Portuguese Presidency and added that Greece “fully supports the key issues that will be addressed within this context.”

On the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Minister pointed out that “despite the relative calm in the past few weeks, the situation remains very volatile.” He further reiterated that “Greece is always ready and willing to engage in a constructive dialogue with Turkey, but of course on the basis of International Law, and in order to discuss that single issue that needs to be addressed, the delimitation of Exclusive Economic Zone and the continental shelf in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.”

Additionally, he confirmed that “following an invitation by the Turkish side, it has been agreed that we are going to have the next round of the exploratory talks in Istanbul on the 25th of January.” He also cited the December 2020 European Council conclusions, which “called not just for a sustained de-escalation for the resumption of these exploratory talks, but also for a smooth continuation.” Greece, he said, “looks forward to a constructive attitude from Turkey and to the abstention from any provocation from their side.”

Finally, Minister Dendias commended Minister Silva on his country’s stance amid the migration crisis and for accepting the relocation of refugees on its territory and contributing to the protection of the European Union’s external borders through Frontex, the EU’s borders agency.

(Photos: H.Akriviadis/MoFA)

Interview with H.E. the Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus, Kyriakos Kenevezos

 

 

“We envision a free and reunited Cyprus, a common homeland of Greek-Cypriots, Turkish-Cypriots, Armenians, Maronites and Latins (Roman Catholics), a model of peaceful coexistence and prosperity of all its citizens and a pillar of stability, peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

 

GDL: In the 60 years since the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus, its foreign policy has evolved significantly, in a process that can be described as transitioning from introversion to extroversion. Can you elaborate on these priorities?

KK: It was never a matter of extroversion or introversion. We always wanted to be a State useful to the rest of the nations; our neighbours, not only those within the European family, but also third countries. The small size, of course, has its own significance in terms of influence, but it has never acted as a deterrent to our actions and synergies within the EU, but much more in the sensitive area where we are.

The Republic of Cyprus is only 60 years old, yet it has a strong presence with acts and actions that have always been aimed at defending basic principles that all States and people should serve. Peace, solidarity, security, democracy. There are many who believe that we invoke these principles because we are young, this is not true. We serve these principles out of conviction, not out of necessity.

In these 60 years, we have unfortunately been called upon and face great difficulties and tragedies, with the harsher reality that of the occupation of 37% of our country by Turkey as a result of the Turkish invasion of 1974. It was and is our responsibility; our first concern is to get rid of the occupation, the redress of injustice, wound healing.

And on this occasion I would like to remind you that the Turkish invasion was not an afternoon walk. It left thousands dead, refugees, rapes, pain, plus everything that has followed to this day, such as settlement and the violation of every principle and every Rule of Law.

However, yes we stood on our feet. We did not kneel. We are an EU Member State with particular commitment to its principles. We develop activities and collaborations in the region through bilateral, tripartite and quadrilateral talks. We are and we want to be useful, where possible. At the same time, we understand that we are not the only ones facing problems and we respect all those who are exposed for any reason, important or insignificant.

GDL: The Cypriot Foreign Ministry, in addition to traditional foreign policy tools, has also embarked on elaborating strategic plan and utilising “soft power” foreign policy tools. Can you tell us more on which sectors you are focused upon?

KK: When everything around us changes and the evidence, requirements and steps become more and more revised, we have a responsibility to keep pace with the changes without altering our basic principles and policies. And we surely do. These include cultural diplomacy, gender mainstreaming, as well as economic diplomacy on which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has undertaken a leading role in defining an Economic Diplomacy Strategy for Cyprus for the period 2021-2031, aiming to effectively use its diplomatic network in reinforcing Cyprus’ position in the global market.

The Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Athens is a tangible example of the complex activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus. Referring to:

Firstly: The Cyprus House, the Cultural and Educational Centre of the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Greece, is a department of the Cultural Services of the Cyprus Ministry Education and Culture and since 1987 has emerged as a powerful soft power tool for Cyprus. For 30 years now, through a wide range of initiatives, synergies, programmes and events, it highlights the historical and cultural identity of Cyprus, cultivating and strengthening the close relations and meaningful dialogue between the intellectuals and creators of Cyprus and Greece.

Secondly: The Cyprus Embassy Trade Centre Athens was founded in 1983 by the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry of Cyprus to highlight and promote Cyprus products and services in the Greek market. The Cyprus Embassy Trade Centre in Athens is also responsible for the countries of Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania and Montenegro.

Thirdly: The Maritime Section operates under the Shipping Deputy Ministry.  Its mission is to safeguard and further develop Cyprus shipping as a safe, socially responsible and sustainable industry, for the enhancement of the national economy and the creation of new jobs, specialisation and expertise in the sector. Our Maritime Office is responsible for the implementation of policy and more specifically, among its other activities, to cooperate and provide services to companies and organisations based in Greece.

GDL: An important component of Cyprus’ agenda is the creation of mini-multilateral structures in the region, the Eastern Mediterranean, in some cases together with Greece, working to foster a network of trilateral cooperation initiatives. What is the purpose of such schemes?

KK: As I mentioned before, a key axis of our foreign policy is the composition and cooperation aimed at shaping conditions of peace, prosperity and stability in the region. We did it with great devotion and the utmost respect for our interlocutors. Those who assumed that the goal of these schemes was only economic gain through the use of energy sources were refuted by the developments.

These partnerships include all the pillars of interest of the States that make them up. Energy issues may have been the reason, but as things turned out, collaborations were based on multi-layered and solid foundations.

“I will repeat what we have been proclaiming for 46 years. Our homeland is under occupation, we are experiencing the consequences of the occupation and we, most of all, want a solution.

Of course, the passage of time adds difficulties and problems to the essence of the Cyprus issues, but it is not possible to use this as an argument to violate the principles of law and reach a bad, unsustainable and non-functional solution to the Cyprus problem.”

GDL: How is it that Turkey feels intimidated and not inclusive in these schemes? What do you answer to them?

KK: You can comprehend that your question concerns a country which illegally occupies 37% of the territory of my homeland. However, despite the on-going occupation, despite the consequences of the invasion that still weighs on our Cyprus, despite the uncompromising attitude of Turkey in the efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue for 46 years, not only did we not exclude Turkey from the groups, but instead called upon them to become part of them.

Turkey has chosen the path of isolation. Turkey chooses the route of unilateral illegal actions, turning its back in a provocative way on the prospect for dialogue on the basis of International Law and the principles of good neighbourly relations.

GDL: The Cyprus issue has deep historical roots and various internal and international dimensions. However, since the illegal Turkish invasion (July-August 1974) and the occupation of some 37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, it is first and foremost an international problem of invasion and occupation in direct violation of the UN Charter and a plethora of UN Resolutions.

However some circles insist that there are new realities on the Cyprus’ problem. What is your response to this statement?

KK: I will repeat what we have been proclaiming for 46 years. Our homeland is under occupation, we are experiencing the consequences of the occupation and we, most of all, want a solution. Of course, the passage of time adds difficulties and problems to the essence of the Cyprus issues, but it is not possible to use this as an argument to violate the principles of law and reach a bad, unsustainable and non-functional solution to the Cyprus problem.

The solution to the Cyprus Question is sought through peace talks held under the auspices of the United Nations as part of the UN Secretary General’s good offices mission. The aim is to reach a comprehensive and lasting solution in accordance with the Charter and the relevant Resolutions of the United Nations, which will lead to the transformation of the unitary State into a bicommunal, bizonal federation with a single sovereignty, single citizenship and single international personality, with political equality as set out in the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.

GDL: Which are the latest developments on the Cyprus Issue and what is the prospect for the resumption of meaningful negotiations for a comprehensive settlement in line with UN Security Council Resolutions, International and EU Laws?

KK: We are facing the formation of the conditions for a new effort. The less we say at this stage, the better for everyone. The important thing is that from our side we want and are ready to enter into talks. We have repeatedly stated the basis and framework that should govern this new effort. We have confidence in the Secretary General of the United Nations. He knows first-hand the declared intention and good will of our side. We all hope that they will convince Turkey to do the same. Our readiness is a given.

“Cyprus’s accession to the EU in 2004, possibly the most pivotal moment in Cyprus’s modern history and certainly one of its greatest diplomatic successes, has meant that the solution of the Cyprus Problem is inextricably linked to the EU and by extension to EU law, values and principles…

The EU’s expressed commitment to continue participating and supporting negotiations under the UN auspices is of utmost importance in this regard.”

GDL: How important is the active involvement of the EU in the negotiating process?

KK: Cyprus’s accession to the EU in 2004, possibly the most pivotal moment in Cyprus’s modern history and certainly one of its greatest diplomatic successes, has meant that the solution of the Cyprus Problem is inextricably linked to the EU and by extension to EU law, values and principles. Cyprus is and will remain a Member State of the Union following reunification.

Fully cognisant of the fact that the potential of the country can only be fully reached if the country is reunified, all efforts are exerted to support the efforts of the UNSG for the resumption of negotiations for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, in a bi-zonal bi-communal federation, fully in line with United Nations Security Council Resolutions, in line with International Law and European Law. The EU’s expressed commitment to continue participating and supporting the negotiations under the UN auspices is of utmost importance in this regard.

H.E. the Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus, Kyriakos Kenevezos

 

GDL: Greece’s position is the full withdrawal of Turkish occupation forces and the termination of the anachronistic system of guarantees of 1960, which are an integral part of an agreed, viable and comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem.

Do you anticipate an agreed solution should restore international legality, which is blatantly violated by the Turkish invasion and on-going occupation of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, a sovereign and independent State that is a Member of the UN and the EU?

KK: The solution must provide for the complete withdrawal of all foreign troops, the abolition of the anachronistic guarantee system, the withdrawal of the settlers and the guarantee of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots. It must further guarantee the unity of the State, institutions, society and the economy and must be in line with the European acquis and fully respect the principles on which the European Union is based.

We envision a free and reunited Cyprus, a common homeland of Greek-Cypriots, Turkish-Cypriots, Armenians, Maronites and Latins (Roman Catholics), a model of peaceful coexistence and prosperity of all its citizens and a pillar of stability, peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean.

 

Interview by Nicolas Boutsicos
Editor, Greek Diplomatic Life

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - FEBRUARY 2020

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

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Foreign Minister holds talks in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Foreign Minister meets with counterpart in London

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Visit of the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister to Athens

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Foreign Minister meets with counterparts in Rome and Lisbon

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - JANUARY 2020

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

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Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Athens

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Foreign Minister holds talks in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Foreign Minister meets with counterpart in London

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Visit of the Foreign Minister of Iraq to Greece

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Visit of the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister to Athens

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Foreign Minister meets with counterparts in Rome and Lisbon

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - DECEMBER 2019

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

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Foreign Minister holds talks in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Foreign Minister meets with counterpart in London

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Visit of the Foreign Minister of Iraq to Greece

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Visit of the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister to Athens

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Foreign Minister of North Macedonia in Athens for talks

  Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani pictured with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. Building a “sincere and strategic partnership relationship based on mutual trust and support”   Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani, at the …

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Foreign Minister meets with counterparts in Rome and Lisbon

    Discussing bilateral and European issues and developments in the Mediterranean   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio in Rome on January 13th, discussing bilateral and European issues, as well as developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. Following their meeting Minister Dendias said: “Today …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - NOVEMBER 2019

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

    Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia have excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas   Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman visited Athens and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias on March 12th. The two Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia had excellent relations, with …

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Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Athens

            Greece maintains close historic bonds with the Palestinian people   Greece is in favour of a just, viable and comprehensive two-State solution, within the boundaries of 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, in accordance with the UN relevant Resolutions and in …

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Foreign Minister holds talks in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  “Further enhancing important bilateral cooperation in all fields, starting with political dialogue”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias emphasises that Greece has a “firm commitment to the integration of the Western Balkan countries in the European Union; as was reflected in the Thessaloniki Agenda which was adopted back in 2003.” …

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Foreign Minister meets with counterpart in London

    Greece and the United Kingdom have a coincidence of views on regional issues   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had an extensive conversation with the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in London on February 2nd, where there was a coincidence of views on the Cyprus issue, but they also …

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Visit of the Foreign Minister of Iraq to Greece

    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 …

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Visit of the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister to Athens

  The Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution; Greece underscores the historic role Russia played in its successful outcome   Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko recently travelled to Athens, meeting with top Greek officials and diplomats as part of regular bilateral contacts. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with the visiting …

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Foreign Minister of North Macedonia in Athens for talks

  Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani pictured with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. Building a “sincere and strategic partnership relationship based on mutual trust and support”   Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani, at the …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with counterparts in Rome and Lisbon

    Discussing bilateral and European issues and developments in the Mediterranean   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio in Rome on January 13th, discussing bilateral and European issues, as well as developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. Following their meeting Minister Dendias said: “Today …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - OCTOBER 2019

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

 

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias gives joint statements to the press with visiting Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman.

 

Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia have excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas

 

Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman visited Athens and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias on March 12th. The two Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia had excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas, and that their meeting in Athens indicated additional strengthening of dialogue and cooperation.

In their joint statements to the press, Minister Radman thanked Minister Dendias for the Greek support of Croatia’s accession to MED7, OECD, Eurozone and the Schengen Area.

The two heads of diplomacy underlined the importance of continuing EU enlargement to Southeast Europe and of Brussels having a consistent policy so that candidates do not lose the European perspective. Minister Dendias also reiterated their will for an intergovernmental conference with North Macedonia, as well as with Albania, as soon as they meet the criteria set by the European Council.

The Greek Minster also referred to the Croatian non-paper on the European perspective of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which Greece supports, and both sides talked in detail about issues concerning Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Addressing a joint press conference, Minister Dendias also noted that discussions had included regional cooperation issues, mentioning Greece’s upcoming Chairmanship of the South-East European Cooperation Process.

Ahead of the upcoming meeting of the European Council, Minister Dendias said that they also discussed EU-Turkey relations and that he had the opportunity to underscore that the report to be submitted by the institutions should be balanced. “It should have proposals for both a positive agenda and the prospect of taking restrictive measures if our neighbour Turkey again gives in to the temptation to return to unlawful conduct,” he stressed.

Minister Dendias also congratulated Croatia on chairing the Council of the EU the previous year, stressing that Greece and Croatia had excellent cooperation within the EU. He recalled Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković’s visit to the Greek-Turkish border in Evros in March 2020 together with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and heads of EU institutions, when an attempt was made to provoke a mass influx of migrants into European territory.

The two delegations in conference, including Croatian Ambassador Aleksandar Sunko.Both sides mentioned the need to create a framework of close cooperation and dialogue between their two Ministries of Foreign Affairs.

Minister Dendias said that it is very important to Greece to create closer cooperation with Croatia.  “Because we do not have any bilateral disputes, we must work even more on a positive agenda, promoting our economic relations, promoting our efforts towards a common understanding of problems, joint responses to problems and a shared outlook on our future on the Mediterranean. A common outlook on how to manage the maritime-zone issues created by the Mediterranean that can and must be dealt within the framework of the International Law of the Sea – which is International Law – to which Croatia is a party, both individually and as a Member of the EU,” he pointed out.

(Photos: Y.Panagopoulos/Eurokinissi & H.Akriviadis/MoFA.)

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Athens

 

Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, extends a warm greeting to visiting Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki and Ambassador of Palestine to Greece, Marwan E.M. Toubassi.

 

 

 

 

 

Greece maintains close historic bonds
with the Palestinian people

 

Greece is in favour of a just, viable and comprehensive two-State solution, within the boundaries of 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, in accordance with the UN relevant Resolutions and in accordance with International Law, underlined Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias during his meeting with the visiting Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki in Athens on March 16th.

 

Greece, noted Minister Dendias, maintains close historic bonds with the Palestinian people as it is a western country that gave its active support at a time when Palestine did not have the international recognition or the support it has today, adding that Greece wishes to enhance its relations with Palestine on a bilateral and multilateral level. “We are looking forward to the intensification of contacts and the two Foreign Ministries’ General Secretariats meeting on April 12th,” he said.

Minister Dendias repeated Greece’s steadfast position regarding the peace process, saying that Greece supports a just and viable solution for the two countries, with Jerusalem as the capital of both, according to International Law and UN Resolutions.

He also underscored the special importance Greece attaches to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem, which is recognised as a prime trustee of Holy Pilgrimage sites.

 

On his part, the Palestinian Foreign Minister said that it had been a warm and cordial meeting between friends. He reported a “positive discussion”, adding that they share the same views on many issues in terms of the two countries’ relations and the deepening of bilateral relations in many sectors, such as economic, trade and educational ties, among others.

“Greece accepts International Law and on this basis we cooperate with Greece as a friendly nation,” he said, underlining that he expects Minister Dendias to visit Palestine to “continue the vital dialogue”.

He said that they discussed “the issue of the peace process in the Middle East, the situation in Palestine, the preparations for the elections in Palestine and Israel, as well as collaboration in the economic sector.” “We consider our relationship with Greece to be very deep and based on friendship, history and cooperation that goes back a long way,” he said.

Regarding the Greek-Turkish exploratory talks taking place in Athens on the same day, Minister Dendias said that Greece is coming to these with a good will. He stressed that the fundamental principles of Greek Foreign Policy are firm and full commitment to International Law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea – which Greece and Palestine have both ratified – and the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.

(Photos: S.Dimitropoulos/Eurokinissi & H.Akriviadis/MoFA.)

Foreign Minister holds talks in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias pictured in BiH with his counterpart Dr. Bisera Turković.

 

“Further enhancing important bilateral cooperation in all fields, starting with political dialogue”

 

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias emphasises that Greece has a “firm commitment to the integration of the Western Balkan countries in the European Union; as was reflected in the Thessaloniki Agenda which was adopted back in 2003.”

 

With the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zoran Tegeltija.

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias recently travelled to Bosnia and Herzegovina where he had successive meetings in Sarajevo with his counterpart Dr. Bisera Turković, Deputy Chairperson of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina; the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zoran Tegeltija; Members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik (Chairman), Željko Komšić and Šefik Džaferović; and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josip Brkić. The talks focused on, among other things, strengthening of bilateral cooperation, the European perspective of the Western Balkans, regional security and stability and wider regional developments.

The Greek Foreign Minister meets with Members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik (Chairman), Željko Komšić and Šefik Džaferović.

 

Foreign Minister Dendias promised, among other things, to assist in their path toward European Union membership. In speaking with his Bosnian counterpart Bisera Turković, Minister Dendias said “we had the opportunity to address ways of further enhancing our important bilateral cooperation in all fields, starting with political dialogue.”

Minister Dendias further emphasised that his meetings in BiH were about boosting economic cooperation and cultural exchanges. “In this regard, it is a particular pleasure for me to underline that courses of Modern Greek are being taught in Sarajevo and Banja Luka. I hope that when conditions allow, the teaching will resume of course with the physical presence of all students,” he said.

As the Greek Minister observed, the pandemic is a factor we have to deal with and has hit hard the whole world. This is the definition of a global challenge. And this is also the test of solidarity. “As we have repeatedly stressed, we need to support the countries of the Western Balkans in order to address the effects of the pandemic as a European Union. In this vein we have decided to provide concrete and tangible support to the hospitals of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he added.

With Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josip Brkić.

 

It has been decided, as Minister Dendias announced to provide financial aid to three hospitals. First of all, support the ‘Abdullah Nakas’ hospital in Sarajevo through a donation of 50,000 Euros. Also support the ‘University Clinical Centre of the Republika Srpska’ in Banja Luka with the same amount. Last, but not least, it will be provided 30,000 Euros to the ‘University Clinical Centre of Mostar’. “This is also an occasion to reaffirm my country’s firm commitment to the integration of the Western Balkan countries in the European Union. Greece joined the European Economic Community four decades ago, being the first country of the Balkan Peninsula to do so,” he said. “In a few years, we could envisage a Union, in which at least one quarter of its Members will be Balkan countries. Something that would have been unimaginable just thirty years ago,” he added.

Minister Dendias emphasised that “Our commitment is long-term. It was reflected in the Thessaloniki Agenda which was adopted back in 2003. We remain fully engaged in this process. Because we believe that it constitutes the sole path to peace, stability and prosperity both in the region, but also in the European Union as a whole.” The countries of the region should eventually join the EU, of course on the basis of conditionality and on the own merit principles. Greece hopes that Bosnia and Herzegovina will take the necessary steps that will help in bringing the country closer to the EU. “We therefore hope that Bosnia and Herzegovina will take the necessary steps that will help in bringing the country closer to the EU,” he said, adding that his trip was “in order to submit proposals regarding technical assistance” to implement EU policies.

Minister Dendias also took the opportunity to refer to Turkish delinquency in the East Mediterranean. “Allow me also to underline the importance we attach to the need for Bosnia and Herzegovina to align itself with EU Positions and Decisions,” the head of Greek diplomacy said; “and notably those regarding the Eastern Mediterranean.” “We value our cooperation within the context of the Regional Cooperation Council, which has its Headquarters right here in Sarajevo,” Minister Dendias said. “We also look forward to further enhance this cooperation during the upcoming Greek Chairmanship of the South-East European Cooperation Process starting this July,” he continued.

“In conclusion, let me highlight the importance of promoting good neighbourly relations on the solid foundation of International Law,” Minister Dendias pointed out. “This has been Greece’s position for decades and I have to say that we are happy to see that most unfortunately not all, but most of the countries of the broader region espouse the same fundamental principles,” he stressed. “Likely, Greece and Bosnia-Herzegovina are on the same page on this,” he added, before inviting Minister Turković to visit Athens.

The two delegations in conference headed by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Deputy Chairperson of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina Dr. Bisera Turković.

 

Bilateral relations between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Greece are excellent, without open issues, but also with significant space for improvement, especially in the field of economy and foreign trade, BiH Foreign Affairs Minister Bisera Turković said following her meeting with her Greek counterpart. The good relations between the two countries, she added, are confirmed by the signed bilateral agreements in the field of economy, investment protection, defence, traffic, culture, education and science. “These agreements represent the foundation that corresponds to our future efforts to improve cooperation and I believe that cooperation will continue, especially in the field of energy,” said Minister Turković.

She recalled the business forums held between BiH and Greece in Sarajevo and Athens in the past years and expressed her willingness and hope for them to continue to be held in the post-pandemic era. Minister Turković said it is in BiH’s interest to improve its foreign trade with Greece in the future, which currently does not meet expectations. “We deeply appreciate Greece’s position that the European perspective of the Western Balkans should be a priority not only for those countries, but also for the EU. Within this context, regional cooperation, which has recently been strengthened through the signing of a declaration on the common regional market under the Berlin Process, is extremely important for us,” said Minister Turković.

According to the BiH Minister, in their discussion they paid special attention to the crisis that is increasingly burdening BiH, briefing her Greek colleague in detail on the latest developments around the migrant situation.

“Our position is that the EU’s involvement must be strengthened in resolving this issue and that it is not fair that only two cantons in the Federation of BiH bear the burden of the entire migrant crisis. Therefore, I reiterate my position that the burden of the crisis must be distributed to the whole country and that our border must be strengthened as soon as possible in such manner that migrants will not be able to enter,” said Minister Turković.

(Photographs by H.Akriviadis/Office to the Minister of Foreign Affairs)

Foreign Minister meets with counterpart in London

 

 

Greece and the United Kingdom have a coincidence of views on regional issues

 

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had an extensive conversation with the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in London on February 2nd, where there was a coincidence of views on the Cyprus issue, but they also stressed the need to apply International Law when resolving disputes.

Greece and the United Kingdom both exercise their foreign policy based on International Law, stated Foreign Affairs Minister Dendias. “Both countries comply with our contractual obligations arising from International Law…, therefore we expect our neighbours to do the same,” he noted.

The Minister was speaking after meetings with British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Dominic Raab and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister for the European Neighbourhood and the Americas Wendy Morton. It is noted that the last visit of a European Foreign Minister to London took place last summer. The last visit by a Greek Foreign Minister to London was held back in 2013.

 

Minister Dendias briefed Secretary Raab and Deputy Minister Morton on the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, before noting that Greece expects the United Kingdom “as a permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council, and given its significant abilities, to contribute in creating in the Eastern Mediterranean a framework of implementation for the rules of International Law and of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” which the UK has signed.

The British side showed great interest in the Greek positions regarding both relations with Turkey and the Cyprus issue. The British Foreign Secretary acknowledged that the UK’s relations with Turkey are close, but noted that they are not competitive with its relations with Greece. On the contrary, he repeatedly stressed his readiness to convey messages to Ankara, when and if the need arises. He fully agreed with his Greek counterpart regarding the universal application of the International Law of the Sea “in the Eastern Mediterranean, in the China Sea and in the Straits of Hormuz,” as he pointed out.

Regarding the Cyprus issue, the British Foreign Secretary repeated without hesitation that the only framework for resolving the issue is a bizonal, bicommunal federation, based on the UN Security Council Resolutions. Within this context, the prospects of the next informal five-party meeting were examined. On his part, the Greek Foreign Minister reiterated Greece’s positions on the matter, which calls for a “bizonal, bicommunal federation based on the conclusions of the UN Security Council and which must also be compatible with European Law.” He also pointed out that this meeting should not give the impression that this is the last chance for the resolution of the Cyprus issue.

Minister Dendias mentioned that discussions also focused on bilateral cooperation of the two countries in the post-Brexit era, “to establish a strategic partnership” between Greece and the United Kingdom, which have traditionally been allies in all conflicts over the last 200 years.

Regarding the bilateral strategic relationship, Minister Dendias referred to specific areas that could be included in a new agreement, such as education, culture, trade relations, the fight against terrorism, as well as migration and refugees. These areas could be developed within a framework agreement, under the coordinating role of the two Foreign Ministries.

“We are linked to Great Britain by many things; first of all, common values. Greece is the birthplace of Democracy. The United Kingdom is the birthplace of Parliamentary Democracy.” “And, as we are celebrating the bicentennial of the Modern Greek State, I reminded my interlocutors of some British figures who championed Greek independence and prosperity – George Canning, William Gladstone, David Lloyd George, Winston Churchill. I told them that no Greek can forget Lord Byron; there is no Greek who does not know Admiral Codrington’s contribution to Greek independence,” he highlighted.

“At the same time, Greece and Great Britain are linked by the Greek community in Britain, the British community in Greece and the millions of British visitors Greece welcomes every year. There are also the priceless monuments of our cultural heritage, which are housed in the British Museum, and a framework obviously has to be formulated for their return to Greece,” the Greek Foreign Minister said.

(Photos: H.Akriviadis/MoFA.)

Visit of the Foreign Minister of Iraq to Greece

 

The visiting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq, Fuad Hussein, pictured during his meetings with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

 

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.

 

Addressing a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

 

“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.

The two delegations in conference.

 

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.)

Visit of the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister to Athens

 

The Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution; Greece underscores the historic role Russia played in its successful outcome

 

Greek-Russian timeless ties of friendship between the two peoples reaffirmed during talks held in Athens between visiting Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko and Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko recently travelled to Athens, meeting with top Greek officials and diplomats as part of regular bilateral contacts. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with the visiting Russian Deputy Minister, discussing bilateral relations of the two countries and focusing upon economic and energy cooperation and developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis receives Deputy Foreign Minister Grushko.Greek-Russian relations were the focus of the meeting between Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis and Deputy Minister Grushko. During their meeting, which took place in a very friendly atmosphere, they discussed bilateral cooperation and regional issues. Referring to the Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution, Alternate Minister Varvitsiotis underscored the historic role Russia played in its successful outcome, stressing the timeless ties of friendship between the two peoples. He added that this year, the Greek-Russian Year of History, is an opportunity to further strengthen the ties between the two sides.

As co-chair of the Greek-Russian Joint Interministerial Committee, the Alternate Minister noted that he looks forward to the next JIC meeting in the near future, underscoring that Greece wants to see the recovery of bilateral trade and to attract Russian investments. Alternate Minister Varvitsiotis welcomed the recent decision of the Russian authorities to restore flights between the Russian Federation and Greece on 8th February 2021.

In statements of the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, which were made to correspondents of Russian media in Athens, he stressed that the Mediterranean region “must remain a zone of peace and cooperation”. He added that it is necessary to exclude the involvement of the territory of friendly countries in the geopolitical game which is related to the containment of Russia.

Deputy Minister Grushko also described the path of sanctions chosen by the EU as “slippery”. However, he acknowledged that Greece is among those “who have expressed considerable scepticism about the effectiveness of these sanctions”. That is why Moscow, while maintaining its views that this is an “illegal policy tool” which actually harms the EU’s interests, considers that Athens implements them as a Member of NATO and the EU. He said this “should not be seen as an obstacle to the development of relations with Greece.”

He was also asked about what is happening in the Eastern Mediterranean and the disputes between Greece and Turkey. As for Greece’s right to extend its maritime territory to 12 miles, Deputy Minister Grushko described the Russian position as “completely transparent and unchanged”. He said that “we call on our partners and stakeholders to resolve their disputes through dialogue, as provided for in the 1982 Law of the Sea.” “At the same time, States have the right to define their territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zones based on the provisions of this Treaty,” he noted.

In view of the new five-party consultations on the Cyprus issue, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister stated that Russia’s position remains unchanged. He said Moscow’s position corresponds to the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions “which indicate that the solution should be based on the bi-zonal bi-communal principle,” adding that “obsolete military guarantees must be replaced by UN Security Council guarantees.”

Finally, he also named the prospect of certification and introduction of the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine into the EU, since in Moscow’s view “just as there are no borders for coronavirus, there should be no borders for vaccines and politics when tackling the pandemic.”

(Photographs by H. Akriviadis/MoFA & V.Rebapis/Eurokinissi.)

Foreign Minister of North Macedonia in Athens for talks

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani pictured with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

Building a “sincere and strategic partnership relationship based on mutual trust and support”

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani, at the Foreign Ministry on January 14th. Talks focused on bilateral political and economic relations, including cooperation on responding to the pandemic, and on regional issues, with emphasis on the European perspective of the Western Balkans.

Following their talks, the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs signed three Memoranda of Cooperation; more specifically, in the field of Diplomatic Training, in the field of Civil Protection, as well as between Enterprise Greece and Invest North Macedonia.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Northern Macedonia concluded his visit to Athens by meeting with the State and political leadership of Greece. He was first received by the President of the Republic, Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou, discussing the progress of bilateral relations in the era of the Prespes Agreement, the situation in the region and the European perspective of North Macedonia.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani pictured with President Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou.

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani pictured with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

 

Minister Osmani was then received by his Greek counterpart. In joint statements following the signing of the three agreements, Minister Dendias noted that “we cannot allow the creation of a stability gap in the Western Balkans,” while warning that the gap could be easily filled by other non-European forces that pursue revisionism.

Greece has historically and actively supported the Western Balkan countries and their accession prospects, he noted, “though always on the basis of the conditionalities, meritocracy and methodology of the EU.” “We firmly believe that this is the only path for peace and stability in the region. Europe has an obligation to keep European enlargement on the table,” Minister Dendias added.

The Foreign Minister also said that Greece is ready to provide technical assistance and to support the efforts of the Western Balkans for EU accession but noted that “we must have a fully consistent and good faith implementation of the Prespes Agreement in order to have progress.” “Two years after the Prespes Agreement came into force, we acknowledge that there has been a very great effort for its implementation. But, of course, greater progress is required,” he said.

This included efforts to consistently implement the use of the agreed name and terms by all public and private entities, including websites, and eradicate the problems of ancient symbols and the Vergina Sun from public spaces and for public uses, he noted. ”What is absolutely clear in the Prespes Agreement is clarity on what happened in antiquity,” Minister Dendias said, pointing out that it was clear and has been accepted by North Macedonia that it was not part of the military campaign of Alexander the Great, nor took part in its major battles and other historic moments.

Minister Dendias also highlighted the fact that Greece can be North Macedonia’s greatest ally and friend, as the country’s stability and prosperity was also in its own interests, while Greece has welcomed North Macedonia as an ally in NATO and patrols its skies. He also thanked the neighbouring country for aligning itself with the common EU position on Turkey, saying that this was noted and appreciated by Greece.

Referring to the three memoranda of understanding signed, he said these have taken bilateral relations one step further. “We must further encourage trade and investments… as these can create new jobs and prosperity in both countries, but also the surrounding region,” he said.

He noted that Greece has made a great effort to provide support in terms of supplying North Macedonia with vaccines against Covid within an EU framework, pledging to continue this effort.

North Macedonia’s Foreign Minister thanked Greece for its support of his country’s EU accession prospects and the start of accession negotiations, saying it was the basis of a long friendship between the two countries and that Greece and North Macedonia are “strategic partners and with the commitment to implement the Prespes Agreement, we will continue to develop and strengthen this strategic partnership relationship.” He said the intention of the two countries was to progress further than good neighbourly relations in order to build a “sincere and strategic partnership relationship based on mutual trust and support.”

Minister Osmani said that the pandemic had shown the importance of cooperation between countries in civil protection, especially when these countries had shared borders, while he also highlighted the various infrastructure projects that spanned the borders of the two countries, such as the interconnector pipeline for natural gas, improvements to road and rail networks and North Macedonia’s aim to participate in the FSRU in Alexandroupolis and open up a new border crossing.

“I expect that in the coming months, as the restrictive measures for the pandemic are eased, we will have an increase in cooperation between us and also the implementation of the activities outlined in the action plan of the Prespes Agreement,” he added. He called for more bilateral meetings and agreements on all levels, as well as more activities outlined in the action plan that will create greater trust between the two countries, emphasising the importance of a “lasting friendship” between them.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also met with North Macedonia’s visiting Foreign Affairs Minister Bujar Osmani and discussed the development of economic cooperation and connectivity between the two countries.

During the meeting in the Maximos Mansion, they also discussed North Macedonia’s prospects for EU accession, Government sources said. Premier Mitsotakis reiterated that the provisions of the Prespes Agreement must be implemented fully, consistently and in good faith.

The meeting was also attended by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy and Extroversion Kostas Fragogiannis.

(Photographs by T.Bolari, Y.Panagopoulos & H.Akriviadis/Eurokinissi)

Foreign Minister meets with counterparts in Rome and Lisbon

 

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio in Rome

 

Discussing bilateral and European issues and developments in the Mediterranean

 

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio in Rome on January 13th, discussing bilateral and European issues, as well as developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Following their meeting Minister Dendias said: “Today we had a very interesting discussion with Luigi Di Maio. We have covered all the issues in our bilateral relations, namely the ratification of the agreement on the maritime zones with Italy, as well as economic issues and issues regarding the wider region and Turkish provocativeness. I briefed him on the resumption of the exploratory talks with Turkey on January 25th, Turkey’s general behaviour in the Eastern Mediterranean and even issues relating to Libya and the East Med. We also discussed the migration issue. I believe it is extremely useful to have a constant and sincere exchange of views with Italy. I also told him that, even though we respect their decision and stance, the Greek side would have wished for stronger Italian support on the issue of sanctions against Turkey.”

Minister Dendias meets with his Portuguese counterpart Augusto Santos Silva in Lisbon.

 

Later, Minister Dendias visited Portugal and met in Lisbon with his Portuguese counterpart Augusto Santos Silva. Talks in Lisbon between the two Foreign Ministers focused on the priorities of the Portuguese European Union Council Presidency, developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, the migration crisis and the European Union enlargement process. Portugal currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, for the first half of 2021.

The two Ministers’ meeting was held two days after the Lisbon visit of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who met with Prime Minister Antonio Costa, noted Minister Dendias. The Greek Minister said he was briefed extensively on the priorities of the Portuguese Presidency and added that Greece “fully supports the key issues that will be addressed within this context.”

On the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Minister pointed out that “despite the relative calm in the past few weeks, the situation remains very volatile.” He further reiterated that “Greece is always ready and willing to engage in a constructive dialogue with Turkey, but of course on the basis of International Law, and in order to discuss that single issue that needs to be addressed, the delimitation of Exclusive Economic Zone and the continental shelf in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.”

Additionally, he confirmed that “following an invitation by the Turkish side, it has been agreed that we are going to have the next round of the exploratory talks in Istanbul on the 25th of January.” He also cited the December 2020 European Council conclusions, which “called not just for a sustained de-escalation for the resumption of these exploratory talks, but also for a smooth continuation.” Greece, he said, “looks forward to a constructive attitude from Turkey and to the abstention from any provocation from their side.”

Finally, Minister Dendias commended Minister Silva on his country’s stance amid the migration crisis and for accepting the relocation of refugees on its territory and contributing to the protection of the European Union’s external borders through Frontex, the EU’s borders agency.

(Photos: H.Akriviadis/MoFA)

Interview with H.E. the Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus, Kyriakos Kenevezos

 

 

“We envision a free and reunited Cyprus, a common homeland of Greek-Cypriots, Turkish-Cypriots, Armenians, Maronites and Latins (Roman Catholics), a model of peaceful coexistence and prosperity of all its citizens and a pillar of stability, peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

 

GDL: In the 60 years since the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus, its foreign policy has evolved significantly, in a process that can be described as transitioning from introversion to extroversion. Can you elaborate on these priorities?

KK: It was never a matter of extroversion or introversion. We always wanted to be a State useful to the rest of the nations; our neighbours, not only those within the European family, but also third countries. The small size, of course, has its own significance in terms of influence, but it has never acted as a deterrent to our actions and synergies within the EU, but much more in the sensitive area where we are.

The Republic of Cyprus is only 60 years old, yet it has a strong presence with acts and actions that have always been aimed at defending basic principles that all States and people should serve. Peace, solidarity, security, democracy. There are many who believe that we invoke these principles because we are young, this is not true. We serve these principles out of conviction, not out of necessity.

In these 60 years, we have unfortunately been called upon and face great difficulties and tragedies, with the harsher reality that of the occupation of 37% of our country by Turkey as a result of the Turkish invasion of 1974. It was and is our responsibility; our first concern is to get rid of the occupation, the redress of injustice, wound healing.

And on this occasion I would like to remind you that the Turkish invasion was not an afternoon walk. It left thousands dead, refugees, rapes, pain, plus everything that has followed to this day, such as settlement and the violation of every principle and every Rule of Law.

However, yes we stood on our feet. We did not kneel. We are an EU Member State with particular commitment to its principles. We develop activities and collaborations in the region through bilateral, tripartite and quadrilateral talks. We are and we want to be useful, where possible. At the same time, we understand that we are not the only ones facing problems and we respect all those who are exposed for any reason, important or insignificant.

GDL: The Cypriot Foreign Ministry, in addition to traditional foreign policy tools, has also embarked on elaborating strategic plan and utilising “soft power” foreign policy tools. Can you tell us more on which sectors you are focused upon?

KK: When everything around us changes and the evidence, requirements and steps become more and more revised, we have a responsibility to keep pace with the changes without altering our basic principles and policies. And we surely do. These include cultural diplomacy, gender mainstreaming, as well as economic diplomacy on which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has undertaken a leading role in defining an Economic Diplomacy Strategy for Cyprus for the period 2021-2031, aiming to effectively use its diplomatic network in reinforcing Cyprus’ position in the global market.

The Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Athens is a tangible example of the complex activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus. Referring to:

Firstly: The Cyprus House, the Cultural and Educational Centre of the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Greece, is a department of the Cultural Services of the Cyprus Ministry Education and Culture and since 1987 has emerged as a powerful soft power tool for Cyprus. For 30 years now, through a wide range of initiatives, synergies, programmes and events, it highlights the historical and cultural identity of Cyprus, cultivating and strengthening the close relations and meaningful dialogue between the intellectuals and creators of Cyprus and Greece.

Secondly: The Cyprus Embassy Trade Centre Athens was founded in 1983 by the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry of Cyprus to highlight and promote Cyprus products and services in the Greek market. The Cyprus Embassy Trade Centre in Athens is also responsible for the countries of Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania and Montenegro.

Thirdly: The Maritime Section operates under the Shipping Deputy Ministry.  Its mission is to safeguard and further develop Cyprus shipping as a safe, socially responsible and sustainable industry, for the enhancement of the national economy and the creation of new jobs, specialisation and expertise in the sector. Our Maritime Office is responsible for the implementation of policy and more specifically, among its other activities, to cooperate and provide services to companies and organisations based in Greece.

GDL: An important component of Cyprus’ agenda is the creation of mini-multilateral structures in the region, the Eastern Mediterranean, in some cases together with Greece, working to foster a network of trilateral cooperation initiatives. What is the purpose of such schemes?

KK: As I mentioned before, a key axis of our foreign policy is the composition and cooperation aimed at shaping conditions of peace, prosperity and stability in the region. We did it with great devotion and the utmost respect for our interlocutors. Those who assumed that the goal of these schemes was only economic gain through the use of energy sources were refuted by the developments.

These partnerships include all the pillars of interest of the States that make them up. Energy issues may have been the reason, but as things turned out, collaborations were based on multi-layered and solid foundations.

“I will repeat what we have been proclaiming for 46 years. Our homeland is under occupation, we are experiencing the consequences of the occupation and we, most of all, want a solution.

Of course, the passage of time adds difficulties and problems to the essence of the Cyprus issues, but it is not possible to use this as an argument to violate the principles of law and reach a bad, unsustainable and non-functional solution to the Cyprus problem.”

GDL: How is it that Turkey feels intimidated and not inclusive in these schemes? What do you answer to them?

KK: You can comprehend that your question concerns a country which illegally occupies 37% of the territory of my homeland. However, despite the on-going occupation, despite the consequences of the invasion that still weighs on our Cyprus, despite the uncompromising attitude of Turkey in the efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue for 46 years, not only did we not exclude Turkey from the groups, but instead called upon them to become part of them.

Turkey has chosen the path of isolation. Turkey chooses the route of unilateral illegal actions, turning its back in a provocative way on the prospect for dialogue on the basis of International Law and the principles of good neighbourly relations.

GDL: The Cyprus issue has deep historical roots and various internal and international dimensions. However, since the illegal Turkish invasion (July-August 1974) and the occupation of some 37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, it is first and foremost an international problem of invasion and occupation in direct violation of the UN Charter and a plethora of UN Resolutions.

However some circles insist that there are new realities on the Cyprus’ problem. What is your response to this statement?

KK: I will repeat what we have been proclaiming for 46 years. Our homeland is under occupation, we are experiencing the consequences of the occupation and we, most of all, want a solution. Of course, the passage of time adds difficulties and problems to the essence of the Cyprus issues, but it is not possible to use this as an argument to violate the principles of law and reach a bad, unsustainable and non-functional solution to the Cyprus problem.

The solution to the Cyprus Question is sought through peace talks held under the auspices of the United Nations as part of the UN Secretary General’s good offices mission. The aim is to reach a comprehensive and lasting solution in accordance with the Charter and the relevant Resolutions of the United Nations, which will lead to the transformation of the unitary State into a bicommunal, bizonal federation with a single sovereignty, single citizenship and single international personality, with political equality as set out in the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.

GDL: Which are the latest developments on the Cyprus Issue and what is the prospect for the resumption of meaningful negotiations for a comprehensive settlement in line with UN Security Council Resolutions, International and EU Laws?

KK: We are facing the formation of the conditions for a new effort. The less we say at this stage, the better for everyone. The important thing is that from our side we want and are ready to enter into talks. We have repeatedly stated the basis and framework that should govern this new effort. We have confidence in the Secretary General of the United Nations. He knows first-hand the declared intention and good will of our side. We all hope that they will convince Turkey to do the same. Our readiness is a given.

“Cyprus’s accession to the EU in 2004, possibly the most pivotal moment in Cyprus’s modern history and certainly one of its greatest diplomatic successes, has meant that the solution of the Cyprus Problem is inextricably linked to the EU and by extension to EU law, values and principles…

The EU’s expressed commitment to continue participating and supporting negotiations under the UN auspices is of utmost importance in this regard.”

GDL: How important is the active involvement of the EU in the negotiating process?

KK: Cyprus’s accession to the EU in 2004, possibly the most pivotal moment in Cyprus’s modern history and certainly one of its greatest diplomatic successes, has meant that the solution of the Cyprus Problem is inextricably linked to the EU and by extension to EU law, values and principles. Cyprus is and will remain a Member State of the Union following reunification.

Fully cognisant of the fact that the potential of the country can only be fully reached if the country is reunified, all efforts are exerted to support the efforts of the UNSG for the resumption of negotiations for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, in a bi-zonal bi-communal federation, fully in line with United Nations Security Council Resolutions, in line with International Law and European Law. The EU’s expressed commitment to continue participating and supporting the negotiations under the UN auspices is of utmost importance in this regard.

H.E. the Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus, Kyriakos Kenevezos

 

GDL: Greece’s position is the full withdrawal of Turkish occupation forces and the termination of the anachronistic system of guarantees of 1960, which are an integral part of an agreed, viable and comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem.

Do you anticipate an agreed solution should restore international legality, which is blatantly violated by the Turkish invasion and on-going occupation of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, a sovereign and independent State that is a Member of the UN and the EU?

KK: The solution must provide for the complete withdrawal of all foreign troops, the abolition of the anachronistic guarantee system, the withdrawal of the settlers and the guarantee of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots. It must further guarantee the unity of the State, institutions, society and the economy and must be in line with the European acquis and fully respect the principles on which the European Union is based.

We envision a free and reunited Cyprus, a common homeland of Greek-Cypriots, Turkish-Cypriots, Armenians, Maronites and Latins (Roman Catholics), a model of peaceful coexistence and prosperity of all its citizens and a pillar of stability, peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean.

 

Interview by Nicolas Boutsicos
Editor, Greek Diplomatic Life

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - SEPTEMBER 2019

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - JULY/AUGUST 2019

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - JUNE 2019

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - MAY 2019

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - APRIL 2019

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - MARCH 2019

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - FEBRUARY 2019

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

    Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia have excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas   Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman visited Athens and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias on March 12th. The two Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia had excellent relations, with …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - JANUARY 2019

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

    Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia have excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas   Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman visited Athens and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias on March 12th. The two Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia had excellent relations, with …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - DECEMBER 2018

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

    Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia have excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas   Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman visited Athens and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias on March 12th. The two Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia had excellent relations, with …

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Visit of the Foreign Minister of Iraq to Greece

    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 …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - NOVEMBER 2018

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

    Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia have excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas   Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman visited Athens and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias on March 12th. The two Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia had excellent relations, with …

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Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Athens

            Greece maintains close historic bonds with the Palestinian people   Greece is in favour of a just, viable and comprehensive two-State solution, within the boundaries of 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, in accordance with the UN relevant Resolutions and in …

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Foreign Minister holds talks in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  “Further enhancing important bilateral cooperation in all fields, starting with political dialogue”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias emphasises that Greece has a “firm commitment to the integration of the Western Balkan countries in the European Union; as was reflected in the Thessaloniki Agenda which was adopted back in 2003.” …

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Foreign Minister meets with counterpart in London

    Greece and the United Kingdom have a coincidence of views on regional issues   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had an extensive conversation with the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in London on February 2nd, where there was a coincidence of views on the Cyprus issue, but they also …

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Visit of the Foreign Minister of Iraq to Greece

    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 …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - OCTOBER 2018

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

    Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia have excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas   Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman visited Athens and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias on March 12th. The two Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia had excellent relations, with …

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Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Athens

            Greece maintains close historic bonds with the Palestinian people   Greece is in favour of a just, viable and comprehensive two-State solution, within the boundaries of 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, in accordance with the UN relevant Resolutions and in …

Read More »

Foreign Minister holds talks in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  “Further enhancing important bilateral cooperation in all fields, starting with political dialogue”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias emphasises that Greece has a “firm commitment to the integration of the Western Balkan countries in the European Union; as was reflected in the Thessaloniki Agenda which was adopted back in 2003.” …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with counterpart in London

    Greece and the United Kingdom have a coincidence of views on regional issues   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had an extensive conversation with the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in London on February 2nd, where there was a coincidence of views on the Cyprus issue, but they also …

Read More »

Visit of the Foreign Minister of Iraq to Greece

    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 …

Read More »

Visit of the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister to Athens

  The Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution; Greece underscores the historic role Russia played in its successful outcome   Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko recently travelled to Athens, meeting with top Greek officials and diplomats as part of regular bilateral contacts. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with the visiting …

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Foreign Minister of North Macedonia in Athens for talks

  Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani pictured with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. Building a “sincere and strategic partnership relationship based on mutual trust and support”   Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani, at the …

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Foreign Minister meets with counterparts in Rome and Lisbon

    Discussing bilateral and European issues and developments in the Mediterranean   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio in Rome on January 13th, discussing bilateral and European issues, as well as developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. Following their meeting Minister Dendias said: “Today …

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HIGHLIGHTS ON THE MONTH - SEPTEMBER 2018

Foreign Minister of Croatia in Athens for talks

    Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia have excellent relations, with great potential in numerous areas   Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman visited Athens and met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias on March 12th. The two Ministers underscored that Greece and Croatia had excellent relations, with …

Read More »

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Athens

            Greece maintains close historic bonds with the Palestinian people   Greece is in favour of a just, viable and comprehensive two-State solution, within the boundaries of 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, in accordance with the UN relevant Resolutions and in …

Read More »