Monday , October 18 2021

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - SEPTEMBER 2021

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

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Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - JULY-AUGUST 2021

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - JUNE 2021

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

Read More »

Greece and Russia reaffirm their strong bilateral relationship

  “Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe”   Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently visited Sochi, Russia where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Talks focused on issues of bilateral significance and on regional developments. Whilst in Russia, Minister Dendias travelled to the …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the United Arab Emirates

  “Strategic, long-term relationship of major significance to both countries”   H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias on June 8th-9th. During their meeting, held at the Ministry’s headquarters …

Read More »

Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President meet in Brussels

    An exchange of views and positions   The meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on June 15th “was a step toward a quieter summer,” underlined Government sources. Held on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit, the meeting took …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - APRIL-MAY 2021

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

Read More »

Greece and Russia reaffirm their strong bilateral relationship

  “Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe”   Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently visited Sochi, Russia where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Talks focused on issues of bilateral significance and on regional developments. Whilst in Russia, Minister Dendias travelled to the …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the United Arab Emirates

  “Strategic, long-term relationship of major significance to both countries”   H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias on June 8th-9th. During their meeting, held at the Ministry’s headquarters …

Read More »

Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President meet in Brussels

    An exchange of views and positions   The meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on June 15th “was a step toward a quieter summer,” underlined Government sources. Held on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit, the meeting took …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - MARCH 2021

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

Read More »

Greece and Russia reaffirm their strong bilateral relationship

  “Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe”   Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently visited Sochi, Russia where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Talks focused on issues of bilateral significance and on regional developments. Whilst in Russia, Minister Dendias travelled to the …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the United Arab Emirates

  “Strategic, long-term relationship of major significance to both countries”   H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias on June 8th-9th. During their meeting, held at the Ministry’s headquarters …

Read More »

Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President meet in Brussels

    An exchange of views and positions   The meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on June 15th “was a step toward a quieter summer,” underlined Government sources. Held on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit, the meeting took …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - FEBRUARY 2021

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - FEBRUARY 2021

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - DECEMBER 2020

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

Read More »

Greece and Russia reaffirm their strong bilateral relationship

  “Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe”   Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently visited Sochi, Russia where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Talks focused on issues of bilateral significance and on regional developments. Whilst in Russia, Minister Dendias travelled to the …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the United Arab Emirates

  “Strategic, long-term relationship of major significance to both countries”   H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias on June 8th-9th. During their meeting, held at the Ministry’s headquarters …

Read More »

Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President meet in Brussels

    An exchange of views and positions   The meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on June 15th “was a step toward a quieter summer,” underlined Government sources. Held on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit, the meeting took …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - NOVEMBER 2020

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

Read More »

Greece and Russia reaffirm their strong bilateral relationship

  “Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe”   Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently visited Sochi, Russia where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Talks focused on issues of bilateral significance and on regional developments. Whilst in Russia, Minister Dendias travelled to the …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the United Arab Emirates

  “Strategic, long-term relationship of major significance to both countries”   H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias on June 8th-9th. During their meeting, held at the Ministry’s headquarters …

Read More »

Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President meet in Brussels

    An exchange of views and positions   The meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on June 15th “was a step toward a quieter summer,” underlined Government sources. Held on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit, the meeting took …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - OCTOBER 2020

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

Read More »

Greece and Russia reaffirm their strong bilateral relationship

  “Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe”   Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently visited Sochi, Russia where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Talks focused on issues of bilateral significance and on regional developments. Whilst in Russia, Minister Dendias travelled to the …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the United Arab Emirates

  “Strategic, long-term relationship of major significance to both countries”   H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias on June 8th-9th. During their meeting, held at the Ministry’s headquarters …

Read More »

Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President meet in Brussels

    An exchange of views and positions   The meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on June 15th “was a step toward a quieter summer,” underlined Government sources. Held on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit, the meeting took …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - SEPTEMBER 2020

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

Read More »

Greece and Russia reaffirm their strong bilateral relationship

  “Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe”   Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently visited Sochi, Russia where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Talks focused on issues of bilateral significance and on regional developments. Whilst in Russia, Minister Dendias travelled to the …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the United Arab Emirates

  “Strategic, long-term relationship of major significance to both countries”   H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias on June 8th-9th. During their meeting, held at the Ministry’s headquarters …

Read More »

Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President meet in Brussels

    An exchange of views and positions   The meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on June 15th “was a step toward a quieter summer,” underlined Government sources. Held on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit, the meeting took …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - APRIL-MAY 2020

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - MARCH 2020

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

 

Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.

 

 

US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, recently travelled to the Eastern Mediterranean to assess and advance the partnerships among the United States, Greece and Cyprus. Chairman Menendez has been a consistent supporter of Greek positions and with his fellow Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) initiated the East Med Act, which promotes US relations with reliable partners in the region including Greece, Cyprus and Israel.

The bipartisan Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act, introduced by Senators Menendez and Rubio and signed into Law on December 20th 2020, is a comprehensive bill that recognises the vital importance of Greece and Cyprus in the region.

The visit of Senator Robert Menendez marks the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances in which Greece participates.

Senator Menendez was invited to be the keynote speaker at the ‘Greece in 2040’ event organised by the ‘Greece 2021’ Committee on August 26th.  The event took place at the Acropolis Museum with a group of high-level dignitaries.  The ceremony marked the first in a series of events organised by the Government of Greece in celebration of the Bicentennial Anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821.

 

“It is up to us, and free people around the world, to keep alive the flame of democracy lit by Ancient Greece millennia ago,” said Chairman Menendez, laying out his vision for the future of the US-Greece relationship grounded in working together to face the rise in anti-democratic movements, including the geostrategic challenges. “At a time like this, going it alone will never do. Because only together can we turn a time of great peril into a time of great promise, both for the Hellenic Republic and the partnership between our nations.”

Senator Menendez underlined Greece’s long-standing relations with the US, while noting that Greece plays a leading role in the region, promoting peace and stability in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean. The US Senator also stressed that Greece has a bright future and is an ideal partner for the US.

“Greece and Cyprus are linchpins of democracy in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he said, adding that the US will leverage the tripartite partnership of these two countries with Israel.

He asserted he is as committed to championing the tripartite partnership as he is to the completion of the US-Greece Defence Partnership Act of 2021.

 

The American Senator noted that Greece played an important role in the first steps of the establishment of democracy in the USA, emphasising that the ideas of the Ancient Greek sages for democracy and the Rule of Law inspired the leaders of the American Revolution to proceed with the Declaration of Independence.

Greece’s struggle for independence has won the admiration of the Americans who were watching the heroic efforts of the Greeks he said, noting that the author of the American Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, sent a letter to Adamantios Korais expressing his solidarity with the Greek people.

Senator Menendez also referred to the American philhellenes who travelled to Greece in order to contribute to the winning of its freedom. “Greek independence is an important achievement, a true example of the story of David and Goliath, and I am glad that these Americans were able to play a small role,” he said, adding that the United States continues to stand by Greece.

 

Referring to Turkey, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman stressed that he hopes it will be a democratic and constructive partner which respects its NATO commitments and the commitments it has made with its neighbours in the region. The United States wants to support efforts in the region to improve relations and ease tensions, “but we cannot remain silent when Turkey’s behaviour escalates tensions.”

Chairman Menendez has also recently blasted Turkey on human rights and its provocative stance in Cyprus. He strongly criticised President Erdogan, saying that his “goal is to advance a separate state on the island of Cyprus.” Commenting on Turkey’s disregard for International Law by opening of the seaside town of Varosha, he said that “this violation of International Law is unacceptable.”

Chairman Menendez also met with Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and President Katerina Sakellaropoulou to discuss the bilateral relationship. President Sakellaropoulou hosted a decoration ceremony in the Presidential Palace to bestow on the Senator the ‘Grand Cross and the Star of the Order of Honour’ for his decades-long efforts to strengthen the United States’ support for the Greek people and for our countries’ enduring partnership.

In Cyprus, the US Senator met with President Nikos Anastasiades to discuss continued efforts to foster peace, stability and security in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as the importance of the US-Cyprus relationship to promote shared values and principles of democracy, Rule of Law and human rights. President Anastasiades awarded the Senator with the ‘Grand Cross of the Order of Makarios III’, the country’s highest civilian distinction.

HELLENIC PARLIAMENT PHOTOS

 

“I am deeply honoured and grateful to be accorded these wonderful honours by the Governments of Greece and Cyprus. My commitment to the United States’ relationship with these close allies is deep. It is long standing. And it will endure as long as I am a United States Senator and beyond,” added Chairman Menendez.

While in Athens, Chairman Menendez also met with Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos, Minister for Development and Investment Adonis Georgiadis, Parliament Speaker Konstantinos Tasoulas and Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis.  His meetings focused on the security issues in the region, geopolitical challenges posed by China and Russia, the implications of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the common threat of climate change as the Hellenic Republic and the US confront devastating wildfires. The Senator also received the ‘Star of Merit and Honour’ by the Ministry of Defence and the ‘Medal of City of Athens’ by City Hall for his contribution to the strengthening of US-Greece relations.

 

Relations between Greece and the United States are “going from strength to strength on all fronts: security, defence, geopolitics and economics.”

 

 

US Senators discuss East Med, Western Balkans, Middle East and Afghanistan

Regional and international issues of mutual interest, particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East and Afghanistan were discussed during a meeting between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and visiting US Senators Chris Murphy and Jon Ossoff on September 6th.

Greeting the two Senators, Premier Mitsotakis commented that relations between Greece and the United States were “going from strength to strength on all fronts: security, defence, geopolitics and economics.”

According to Government sources, the meeting reaffirmed the excellent level of bilateral relations between Athens and Washington and explored the possibilities for their further deepening and expansion in areas such as defence cooperation, investments in strategic infrastructure and cooperation in the energy and environment sectors. They also discussed the Government’s planned reforms of the Greek State and economy.

Premier Mitsotakis outlined the recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and analysed Greece’s role as a pillar of stability and security in the wider region, via cooperation schemes with joint partners, such as Cyprus, Israel and Egypt. Regarding Afghanistan, the Prime Minister stressed that those fleeing the country should stay as close to their homes as possible.

The meeting also addressed the progress of the US-Greece Defence and Interparliamentary Partnership Act that is currently in Congress, which will strengthen Greek-US cooperation even further. It also examined the changes in the US-Greece Mutual Defence Cooperation Agreement that are currently being negotiated.

The Eastern Mediterranean, the Western Balkans and the Greece-US defence cooperation agreement were the focus of Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias’ meeting with US Senators Chris Murphy and Jon Ossoff.

“We see your presence here as an indication of the enormous importance that the United States attaches to Greece and the wider region,” Minister Dendias said in a statement during the meeting. He also reminded that their visit followed the visit of the Chair of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Menendez, to Athens. “Your visit comes at a very important time for the region and for Greek-US relations, our strategic bilateral cooperation,” he stressed. “We are very close to concluding the negotiations on the mutual defence cooperation agreement, which I estimate we will sign during my upcoming visit to Washington in October,” he said.

As he pointed out, the two sides had the opportunity to discuss developments in the region and the situation in the Mediterranean and to exchange views on the future.

 

Pictured above: visiting Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), accompanied by US Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt, pictured during his meetings with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis; Receiving awards and distinctions from President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou; Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos; and from Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis. Senator and Mrs. Menendez touring the exhibition ‘Beholding Liberty – two centuries later’ with Parliament President Constantine Tassoulas; HNDGS Chief, General Konstantinos Floros, Deputy Defence Minister Alkiviadis Stefanis, Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos, Senator Menendez and Ambassador Pyatt; Addressing the press with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias; Ambassador Pyatt and Minister Dendias with visiting US Senators Senators Chris Murphy and Jon Ossoff.

(Photos: Eurokinissi/Hellenic Parliament.)

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

 

Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”

 

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive meetings with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Nikola Dimitrov, President of the Assembly Talat Xhaferi and the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski.

During the meetings, bilateral relations in all fields, including the economy and energy, investments and commerce, transport and the tackling of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the country’s European perspective were discussed. Within this context, Minister Dendias raised the issue of the full, consistent and in good faith implementation of the Prespa Agreement with the aforementioned officials. Developments in the Western Balkans and the wider region were also examined.

Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend,” Minister Dendias said during a meeting with Minister Osmani. Noting that the faithful implementation of the Prespa Agreement between the two countries would serve as a foundation for closer relations, he added during joint statements, “as an immediate neighbour, Greece has every reason and interest in your country’s and your people’s stability, security and prosperity.” He also expressed Greece’s support in North Macedonia’s European prospect and in the start of accession negotiations with the EU. “The West Balkans must never be allowed to become the powder keg of Europe again, as we always tell our European partners,” he said, adding that Greece is doing what it can to guarantee that stability in the region.

Minister Dendias said that the recent defence agreement signed by North Macedonia and Turkey created some questions in Greece, but he said that he had received the necessary clarifications by Minister Osmani. He also thanked North Macedonia for supporting Greece’s candidacy for a seat as a non-permanent Member in the UN Security Council in 2025-2026 and for its statement condemning illegal Turkish actions in Varosha on Cyprus. The two Ministers further discussed energy collaboration and Greek investments in North Macedonia, while Minister Dendias noted that Greek business owners have invested over half a billion euros and created over 20,000 jobs in the country. Bilateral trade reached to nearly 800 million euros last year, despite the pandemic, he added.

Minister Dendias welcomed the collaboration with Greece in defence, including the supervision of North Macedonia’s airspace by the Hellenic Air Force and the cultural agreement to preserve and protect Byzantine and post-Byzantine monuments in the country. He also welcomed the latest actions of North Macedonia in changing names, according to the Prespa Agreement provisions.

Minister Osmani thanked Greece for its support in seeking EU membership and for the 120,000 coronavirus vaccines it sent to his country, which made a difference in protecting the public. He said the visit by the Greek Minister contributed to developing the two countries’ economic relations and noted that trade between the two countries rose by 20% in the first quarter of the year, compared to the corresponding quarter in 2020. The visiting Minister further met with representatives of Greek businesses active in North Macedonia.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, pictured during his meetings in Skopje with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev; Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Nikola Dimitrov; President of the Assembly Talat Xhaferi; President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski; and Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani.

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias holds a joint press briefing in Athens with his visiting Libyan counterpart, Foreign Minister Najlah Al-Mangoush

 

“Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”

 

Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all paramilitary and mercenary forces from Libya and have no foreign military presence in order to soon hold fair elections in the country.

The Head of Greek Diplomacy reiterated that Greece is not attempting, unlike other countries in the region, to turn back time and make Libya a de facto colony of foreign interests. “Greece doesn’t seek anything that will not be accepted and supported by the Libyan people, by Libyan society. Greece doesn’t seek to impose any illegal agreement on Libya, any agreement that the Libyan House of Representatives itself has rejected,” the Foreign Minister said.

“We are interested in the stabilisation, growth and prosperity of your country. We want Libya to participate in the new architecture for an understanding of stability and security that our region needs. Geographically speaking, we are immediate neighbours. Crete is a 20 minutes flight from Libya and the stabilisation of Libya, stability in Libya, affects our whole region,” Minister Dendias added.

“The most important issue at stake for us is to ensure the independence, the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Libya,” he underlined, before noting that a key condition for this is holding fair elections on December 24th, as provided for in UN Resolutions.

Urging a more decisive stance from Brussels on the issue of Libya, the Greek Foreign Minister stressed during the meeting with his Libyan counterpart that “instability on the southern shores of the Mediterranean affects every country in the wider vicinity.”

Minister Dendias added that he plans to recommend that Minister Mangoush is invited to address an upcoming luncheon of European Union Foreign Ministers and said that he will bring up the subject with EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell.

Minister Dendias also noted that Greece was one of the first countries to re-open its Embassy in Tripoli and that it was also the first country to inaugurate a Consulate General in Benghazi. “To be precise, we re-opened it, because we had to close it in 1998. We try to assist in any way we can. We have already donated 200.000 vaccines to address the corona virus pandemic and if you need extra help with it, we are entirely at your disposal. We wish to assist the Libyan people in their daily lives.”

Referring to the upcoming elections in her country, Minister Al-Mangoush called on Greece to help see these succeed, “because security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU.” She also called on the EU to help Libya by providing the necessary tools for security there. Minister Mangoush also said that Libya is prepared to work with Brussels on the issue of migration from Africa to Europe.

After describing the recent visit of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Libya as a sign of “great support for Libya’s National Unity Government,” she invited Minister Dendias to visit the country at his earliest convenience.

The two delegations in conference at the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

 

The migration crisis is “a European challenge”

 

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the Lithuanian Foreign Minister and marks the excellent level of Greek-Lithuanian relations and the common will to promote cooperation bilaterally and at European level.

 

In the broader talks of the delegations that followed the bilateral meeting of the two Ministers, the strengthening of the cooperation and the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, Western Balkans and Eastern Neighborhood were discussed.

Minister Dendias was also received by the Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament Victoria Smilite-Nielsen, with whom he discussed bilateral relations and cooperation, with an emphasis on Parliamentary Diplomacy, while he had been invited to address the Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Greece and Lithuania may be geographically far apart, but “we share a common fate as we are both in the boundaries of the EU,” Minister Nikos Dendias said at his meeting with his Lithuanian counterpart. He added that the migration crisis is an issue which both countries can raise in the EU Council of Ministers as “a European challenge,” and said that Greece could provide Lithuania with technical expertise, know-how and human resources to help with migration influxes.

Greece faced a migration crisis in the mid 2010s when asylum seekers from the Middle East started coming to the country via the Mediterranean Sea en masse.

“We can help in any way Lithuania sees fit,” the Greek Minister said during a joint press conference with Lithuanian Foreign Minister. “We have the experience of the bigger neighbour pushing, instrumentalising the migration phenomenon.”

Minister Landsbergis said he asked his Greek counterpart “for advice and technical assistance” since his country “has been dealing with the refugee problem much longer”.

Greek officers could come to Lithuania to consult border guards and officers from the Interior Ministry, Minister Landsbergis said, adding that Greece had a lot of experience in applying EU law when processing asylum applications.

Lithuania has never been the first country of entry to the EU for migrants, He said, “and Greece has”.

Lithuania has recently seen a dramatic increase in irregular migration from Belarus, with Lithuanian officials saying that Belarusian authorities are helping migrants cross the Lithuanian border.

Minister Landsbergis claims that the Belarusian Government “is actively organising the refugee programme and is using it against Lithuania as one of the hybrid instruments”.

Speaking ahead of a working lunch, Minister Dendias underlined that “we are not happy with the level of our economic cooperation,” and added that “we can do a lot more, as there are many initiatives, like the Three Seas Initiative or connecting our railways, that could help us enhance our economic relations. This will also help us address energy issues.”

Referring to the nuclear power plants of Astravets in Belarus and the Akkuyu project in Turkey, both built with Russian technology, Minister Dendias said Greece is “very sensitive with nuclear energy,” adding that he is “old enough to remember what it means to have a nuclear accident in your neighbourhood.” Nuclear energy should be discussed within the context of EU neighbours, he stressed.

The Greek Minister also condemned anew the recent forced landing of a civilian flight by Belarusian authorities at Minsk airport as “a piracy,” and commented on the recently meeting of the Greek and Turkish leaders on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit in Brussels.

 

Pictured above: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis; with Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament, Victoria Smilite-Nielsen, and other officials.

(Photos: Hellenic MoFA)

The new General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy: An important soft power mechanism

 

Interview with John Chrysoulakis,
Secretary General for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy

 

 

 

“Greeks abroad are a major force in the dissemination of Greek values and culture, with an active role in the promotion of Greek positions on issues of interest before international public opinion, but also as a channel of friendship and solidarity with their host countries.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

GDL: What are the objectives and policy goals of the new General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy?

JC: The General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy has now a dual focus, on the one hand the Diaspora and on the other Public Diplomacy. These two aspects are complementary, extroversive and act as an operational arm for the promotion of Greece abroad. The General Secretariat is committed to bringing the Greek communities closer to each other, strengthen their ties with the homeland and preserve their language and cultural identity.

At the same time, through Public Diplomacy campaigns, it is creating a modern narrative for the country and promoting its image internationally, with help and cooperation of the Greeks abroad, who, wherever they live, are a prominent part of the local communities.

In addition, the reversal of ‘Brain Drain’ is also one of our goals and the Greek Government is actively interested in protecting the productive fabric of our country. The Prime Minister himself has announced financial and fiscal measures and incentives to restrict this phenomenon, encourage the creation of new well-paid jobs in many sectors and attract significant foreign investment capitals. Foreign investors have already responded to these measures, as Microsoft has decided to invest in data centres in our country and Volkswagen is turning Astypalaia into the first and only ‘smart’ island in the Mediterranean that runs almost entirely on green energy.

“Besides ‘Brain Drain’, there is also the so-called ‘Brain Circulation’, ie., the mobility of scientists. Aimed at bringing the Greek Diaspora closer to Greece, we are creating and promoting networks that will bring together professionals and scientists of Greek origin that excel abroad with their colleagues in Greece.”

Besides ‘Brain Drain’, there is also the so-called ‘Brain Circulation’, ie., the mobility of scientists. Aimed at bringing the Greek Diaspora closer to Greece, we are creating and promoting networks that will bring together professionals and scientists of Greek origin that excel abroad with their colleagues in Greece.

GDL: In your opinion, what changes need to be undertaken in order for the new Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy to be fully functional and efficient in order to create a strategic decision-making and coordination centre to communicate the multifaceted policies and messages of our country?

JC: In the Unified Government Policy Plan, one of the key elements concerning the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) is to strengthen the international image of the country by using modern communication strategies and digital tools.

Implementing this directive, the General Secretariat Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy has put at the top of its agenda the digitisation of its actions, as well as the actions carried out by the Public Diplomacy Offices abroad. We are confident that increasing the use of social media and implementing digital diplomacy strategies will yield to positive results in the near future.

Within this context, we recently organised an online seminar on Digital Public Diplomacy, in collaboration with the University of Oxford. Our aim was to highlight the influence of social media in the diplomatic field and at the same time answer the question of how new media can be used as tools for formulating a Public Diplomacy strategy.

GDL: What initiatives has the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy launched so far?

JC: Let me start from the current year, which for us at the MoFA, as for every Greek and friend of Greece, is a milestone year for all Hellenism and the image of Greece internationally. It is the year that we celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Greek Revolution, the year that we communicate internationally the image of a Modern State with all its achievements during the two centuries of its independence.

The General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy is involved in most of the events that have either been designed or submitted to the ‘Greece 2021’ Committee or organised independently around the world. Let me mention the illumination, for the first time, iconic buildings in the capitals and major cities of the world were illuminated in the colours of the Greek flag, congratulatory messages of heads of state and other foreign personalities and wishes sent via our public broadcaster from our prominent expatriates in America and Europe all the way through to Australia.

We have coordinated dozens of events to date, while an equal number are in line involving our contribution, participation and support. Additionally, we have begun providing the Diaspora, our Diplomatic Authorities and Public Diplomacy Offices abroad with a series of ready-to-use digitalised documents, testimonies and archival material which we obtained through our cooperation with Piraeus Bank, in synergy with the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the National Historical Museum, Greek National Opera and the General State Archives. The provision of these products will continue throughout the year and will be enriched with more digitalised material from the Hellenic Army Academy, the War Museum, the Athens Concert Hall and other institutions.

At the same time, we are implementing cultural programmes with other countries, such as the Greek-Russian history year in 2021. I recently participated in an art exhibition organised within the context of the Greek-Russian history year in 2021 which gave me the opportunity to appreciate the influence and appeal of Greek culture on this great country, Russia. Likewise with China, where I was asked to address major Chinese media on the occasion of our National Day, highlighting the importance of Greek National Deliverance and the global and timeless significance of the Greek liberation struggle.

Beyond however our Bicentennial celebratory events, the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy participates in a multitude of other initiatives related to the Greek language, higher education, arts and culture. It is also active in the so-called ‘Parliamentary Diplomacy’ in cooperation with the Special Permanent Committee on Greeks Abroad of the Greek Parliament, the World Hellenic Inter-Parliamentary Association (PADEE) and the European Network of Elected Greeks in Local Authorities Abroad. It also opens up new paths of communication with the Arab world, participating in the annual meetings of Greek and Arab poets, in which the most important Arab Writers Associations take part.

At this point, I would like to mention our special contribution to the international promotion of the Greek language through various targeted actions, such as the online educational platform ‘staellinika.com’, which we have been running worldwide with great success and which constitutes an innovative action for the diffusion of the Greek language and culture, especially under the current difficult conditions of the pandemic.

There is, moreover, the promotion of International Greek Language Day for a second consecutive year, both in Greece and abroad via the Public Diplomacy Offices, to highlight its universality. We celebrated International Greek Language Day with events, videos and roundtables around the world. We communicated our messages to events that took place from nearby Italy to faraway Los Angeles, Montreal and Sydney. Our Public Diplomacy Offices were involved in these endeavours worldwide.

I would also like to stress our significant efforts to promote Greek higher education abroad through the ‘Study In Greece’ campaign, which concerns the English-language programmes offered by Greek Universities, in the promotion of which the Greek Diaspora is very active. This year, in cooperation with the General Secretariat of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, we organised the webinar ‘Reinforcing bridges between Greek Universities and the Greek Diaspora’, where government officials and prominent Greeks living abroad demonstrated the high standards of Greek higher education and the variety of options in Greek and English that Greek universities offer to both expatriate and foreign citizens. This initiative aims to attract expatriates and foreign students interested in attending foreign-language university programmes in Greece.

Another important event was the large international online conference we organised a year ago, with the participation of 100 expatriate doctors from 25 countries, which was an essential step toward the creation of a network of expatriate doctors.

In conclusion, I would like to underline that during the first half of 2021 and in the midst of the pandemic, we have held 1,350 public diplomacy events, through the Public Diplomacy Offices, an increase of 48% compared to the same period of 2020.

“The General Secretariat is also responsible for Public Diplomacy. An important soft power mechanism which, thanks to the advance of new technologies and Social Media, is gaining more and more ground in our country’s effort to promote its new image to international audiences.”

GDL: What comparative advantages of the country the General Secretariat is cultivating in order to highlight Greece in the international public opinion?

JC: As I mentioned before, the General Secretariat is also responsible for Public Diplomacy. An important soft power mechanism which, thanks to the advance of new technologies and Social Media, is gaining more and more ground in our country’s effort to promote its new image to international audiences. It is a horizontal policy that assists all types of diplomacy, and that is why Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has integrated it to the MoFA, aiming at creating a decision-making centre that will coordinate and streamline policies and messages that our country wishes to communicate abroad.

There are currently 29 Public Diplomacy Offices operating in several of our Diplomatic Missions in Europe, America, China and Australia, staffed by highly trained officers who network with media representatives of the host country and communicate the positions and comparative advantages of Greece through targeted actions, communication campaigns and customised events. And our comparative advantages are numerous: our culture, history and tourism, our growing economy and remarkable geopolitical position, the investment friendly environment we now offer to foreign investors, our skilful human capital and the top-of-the-line communications and transport infrastructures we possess, etc.

“I believe that we have done a good job, since last year Greece ranked among the top 10 “soft power” countries in the world for the first time.”

I believe that we have done a good job, since last year Greece ranked among the top 10 “soft power” countries in the world for the first time according to IFG-Monocle Soft Power Survey 2020, which is an international survey about countries whose softer tactics are bearing fruit, proving the great strides we have made in this field.

GDL: How can Greece enhance its external relations regarding cultural heritage?

JC: Cultural diplomacy contributes immensely to bringing peoples closer. It allows us to better understand those around us, their concerns and their dreams. It also allows Greece to express and convey its viewpoint of contemporary society. Cultural diplomacy promotes the modern image and thinking of the country. Cultural exchanges help to build a climate of trust and mutual benefit between peoples. Cultural Diplomacy practically promotes patterns of behaviour that subconsciously create an overall portrait of the country. Thus, communication mediation through cultural production is of key significance to international diplomacy. Artists and intellectuals, in cooperation with diplomats and competent bodies, can play a decisive role in matters related to peace, culture and Human Rights. This is easy for Greeks in particular, as they carry the wealth of a significant culture.

“Cultural diplomacy contributes immensely to bringing peoples closer… Cultural Diplomacy practically promotes patterns of behaviour that subconsciously create an overall portrait of the country. Thus, communication mediation through cultural production is of key significance to international diplomacy.”

GDL: By scaling up the new General Secretariat with the Public Diplomacy Sector it seems that the Greek communities abroad will lose their strong bond. Is this statement true and how will you strengthen your relations with them?

JC: Public Diplomacy and Greeks Abroad are two fields of action that not only do not conflict, but complement each other and are both tied to the same global openness and strategic planning in promoting Greece abroad. The new General Secretariat of which I’m in charge continues to be the channel of communication between Diaspora Greeks and the metropolitan centre. It is the institution that understands and mediates between our expatriates and the Greek State, while creating the modern narrative of the country and promoting its positive image to international public opinion with the help and cooperation of our expatriates, who, wherever they may live, are a prominent element of their local communities with a special standing, acknowledgement and influence.

“Public Diplomacy and Greeks Abroad are two fields of action that not only do not conflict, but complement each other and are both tied to the same global openness and strategic planning in promoting Greece abroad. The new General Secretariat continues to be the channel of communication between Diaspora Greeks and the metropolitan centre. It is the institution that understands and mediates between our expatriates and the Greek State, while creating the modern narrative of the country and promoting its positive image to international public opinion with the help and cooperation of our expatriates, who, wherever they may live, are a prominent element of their local communities with a special standing, acknowledgement and influence.”

I believe that in the future the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy through its new strong and unified structure will better serve its goals, coordinating and implementing in a unified and effective way all actions and functions that serve the needs of Greeks abroad and promote the country in global public opinion. In fact, the merging of the two General Secretariats was beneficial for the Greeks abroad, not only because during the last eight months our contacts and events we had with them multiplied, but also because the Public Diplomacy Offices played an important role in strengthening our ties with the Greek Diaspora.

 

Greeks abroad are a major force in the dissemination of Greek values and culture, with an active role in the promotion of Greek positions on issues of interest before international public opinion, but also as a channel of friendship and solidarity with their host countries. The deep and enduring relationship of the Greek Diaspora, as well as philhellenes everywhere, with Greece, was amply reflected in this year’s events celebrating the Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution, not to mention its significant contribution in efforts to overturn the decision which, in breach of UNESCO regulations, turned the universal Hagia Sophia monument into a mosque.

Greeks abroad are a major force in the dissemination of Greek values and culture, with an active role in the promotion of Greek positions on issues of interest before international public opinion, but also as a channel of friendship and solidarity with their host countries. The deep and enduring relationship of the Greek Diaspora, as well as philhellenes everywhere, with Greece, was amply reflected in this year’s events celebrating the Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution.”

Proving its strong support to our Diaspora, the Greek Government, honouring its commitments, but also implementing a constitutional requirement that for years has not been brought into effect, proceeded with regulating the issue of expatriate voting through legislation which mustered the political consensus that was necessary on this important issue.

At the same time, given the expressed interest of the Prime Minister Mitsotakis and the competent Deputy Foreign Minister, Costas Vlasis, for the facilitation of our expatriates’ needs, the digitalisation of our consular services began with the ‘myConsulLive’ system, an online portal designed to enable expatriate Greeks to conduct their transactions with the MoFA consular authorities through video calls with competent officials, with no physical presence needed. Additionally, we have launched the pilot ‘Virtual Assistant’ service, a globally innovative virtual assistance programme using chatbots that interface with all existing and planned digital information and assistance platforms of the MoFA, providing access to all information and requests submitted to Consular Authorities along with processing guidelines.

“We attribute great importance to Africa since many Greek communities with remarkable presence and active participation in economic, scientific and cultural developments of the continent, constitute a permanent bridge of communication and cooperation between Greece and their countries of residence.”

GDL: A few decades ago, the Greek presence in Africa was significant and placed an important role in its modern economic development. What initiatives are you planning to undertake to revive the Greek presence in the African continent?

JC: We attribute great importance to Africa since many Greek communities with remarkable presence and active participation in economic, scientific and cultural developments of the continent, constitute a permanent bridge of communication and cooperation between Greece and their countries of residence. Within this framework, we have applied a comprehensive strategy for the Greek Diaspora, designed to support and promote the interests of Greeks abroad, as well as to strengthen their relations with the motherland.

Given our historical relations with North African countries, we recently inaugurated our General Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and established a trilateral scheme including Greece, Cyprus and Egypt that convenes frequently and discusses Diaspora issues. Promoting the Greek language and culture is one of our top priorities in the region. To this end, we are implementing a comprehensive plan aimed at strengthening school education in Africa. Thus, we have briefed our Greek teachers in Africa about the innovative educational capabilities that the online platform ‘staellinika.com’ offers, we have provided Congolese schools with computers, books and digital material, while I have personally attended, together with His Eminence Metropolitan Ioannis of Zambia, events of Zambian schools, as well as other events organised by the Greek Department of the SAHETI School. We have participated in numerous events in Cairo and Alexandria, and under our Auspices, the Hellenic Federation of South Africa presented the biggest Greek Flag ever (1,600 square metres), as well as a real life-size poster of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, during a 1821 commemorative event in Johannesburg last March.

I would also like to mention that the ‘Hosting Programmes’ have recently been redesigned and they will no longer offer just holidays in Greece, but they will be enriched with a Greek language and culture programme. Under their new format, we are certain that the Hosting Programmes will be considered as an extraordinary experience with an indelible mark on the children’s development. Within this context, we have planned an action for our Diaspora communities and the philhellenes with the view to operate Summer Schools with Greek language courses. Especially for the Diaspora children, these schools will start operating shortly, in three age groups, offering lessons in Greek language, history and culture.

GDL: How is the General Secretariat coping with the Covid-19 pandemic and what system has been put in place to keep the international media informed?

JC: It’s true that all actions for Greeks abroad, as well as for Public Diplomacy, which involve live participation, visits and close contact have been suspended and that is very unfortunate because there were many and well-planned events. But what has not been suspended and remains undiminished is our interest in our cause. Fortunately, thanks to digital technology, we are able through continuous daily online contacts to participate in events that make Greece present daily around the world. I really look forward to the end of the pandemic, which will allow me to visit again the Greek communities around the world, listen to their problems and their ideas, but also demonstrate to them the interest and support of the Greek Government.

 

Interview by Nicolas Boutsicos
Editor, Greek Diplomatic Life

Greece and Russia reaffirm their strong bilateral relationship

 

“Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe”

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently visited Sochi, Russia where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Talks focused on issues of bilateral significance and on regional developments. Whilst in Russia, Minister Dendias travelled to the coastal cities of Anapa and Gelendzhik on the Black Sea where he met with businessmen and representatives of the large Greek diaspora that is making a tangible contribution to the promotion of ties between Russia and Greece.

The Greek Foreign Minister expressed the hope that it will be possible to schedule the visit of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Russia within 2021 to promote bilateral relations during a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

“Russia has repeatedly supported the unalienable right to expand our territorial waters and the fact that all differences must be resolved on the basis of the International Law of the Sea, something that the Minister reiterated during our talks today,” the Greek Foreign Minister said. He also expressed his appreciation for “the Russian commitment to the Resolutions of the UN Security Council concerning the Cyprus issue.”

Minister Dendias also expressed his concern that “Turkey is promoting itself as the heir of the Ottoman heritage and as the leader of Muslims globally, a practice that destabilises the wider region.” In this regard, “Russia’s contribution to promoting stability, especially as a permanent Member of the UN Security Council and the Quartet, is of massive significance,” he added.

Minister Dendias also said that he had a “sincere and open” discussion on the difficult relationship of the European Union and Russia and that he remembers the partnership agreement signed between them 27 years ago on Corfu, his place of origin, long before he was involved in politics. “It is the Greek Government’s wish that the relationship between the EU and Russia returns to the level it was, not get worse,” he said, as “Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe and plays a significant role in dealing with regional and international challenges.” Greece is an EU Member State and committed to its European obligations, but continues to stress the need for dialogue and mutual respect, a message that the Premier of Greece conveys to his EU counterparts, he added.

On his part, the Russian Foreign Minister said this was the fourth meeting between the two, adding that regular contacts helped guarantee and confirm the friendly relations between the two countries.

“Greece is one of the most significant partners of the Russian Federation in Europe,” he said, noting Greece’s 200th Anniversary this year of its Declaration of Independence as “our joint celebration”. Russia contributed in key ways to Greece’s independence from the Ottomans and to its formation as a State, he added. Despite the difficulties arising from the coronavirus pandemic, Greek-Russian collaboration keeps developing steadily with constructive dialogue at high and the highest levels.

“Today we reviewed progress in the implementation of agreements signed by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, as well as the decisions discussed during the meeting of Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin with Premier Mitsotakis on March 24th and their follow-up phone conversation on May 5th,” Minister Lavrov said, referring to the Russian Premier’s visit to Greece for the celebrations of Greek Independence.

“We have agreed to work to overcome the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in order to maintain practical cooperation between our countries; confirmed mutual interest in expanding ties, implementing joint projects in trade, investment, research and energy and restoring tourist flows. We supported the convention of the working groups of the Joint Russian-Greek Commission for Economic, Industrial, Scientific and Technical Cooperation and its plenary session as soon as possible this year.”

“We assessed our treaty and legal framework. We are working on about 20 draft agreements. We agreed to expedite their drafting with a view to signing them during future contacts” he added.

Minister Lavrov reiterated Russia’s position on the Cyprus issues, of seeking a solution on the basis of UN Security Council Resolutions for a bicommunal and bizonal federation and that of transferring the issues of security guarantees to the jurisdiction of the Council’s five permanent Members. He also conveyed Russia’s willingness to serve as mediators on the issue.

Russian-EU relations are “not going through the best of times,” the Russian Minister acknowledged, underlining that it was not Russia’s initiative to start the cycle of sanctions imposed by Brussels. “We confirmed our readiness for constructive dialogue with the EU, but based exclusively on the principles of equality, mutual respect and evaluation of each other’s interest, not based on unilateral illegal demands,” he clarified, adding that clashes and tension in the Balkans, the Middle East, East Mediterranean, Libya, Syria and Transcaucasia “can be resolved solely by political and diplomatic means on the principles of International Law, without allowing confrontation.”

Minister Lavrov also mentioned among others the cultural and humanitarian exchanges developing positively. “Our cultural and educational exchanges are making steady headway. We share the opinion that the joint Year of History in 2021 will give a fresh impetus to people-to-people contacts. It is being conducted under the patronage of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic Kyriakos Mitsotakis and includes over 120 events in our countries. This major undertaking will promote confidence, understanding and friendship between our nations,” he noted.

Both sides analysed in depth international and regional issues and agreed to continue close cooperation at multilateral venues, primarily, the United Nations, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).

“We are very happy with the results of the talks and the fact that our Greek partners are willing to further promote bilateral collaboration in several sectors,” the Russian Minister concluded.

Pictured above: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, receives a warm welcome to Sochi from his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov; the two delegations in conference headed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs; giving joint statements to the press.

Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the United Arab Emirates

 

“Strategic, long-term relationship of major significance to both countries”

 

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias on June 8th-9th. During their meeting, held at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi, both sides discussed the strategic relations between the UAE and Greece, as well as the importance of advancing their overall cooperation to achieve the interests of their peoples.

 

They also reviewed issues of mutual interest, including developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and the importance of maintaining security and stability in the Middle East.

On his two-day Official Visit to the UAE, his fourth in his tenure as Foreign Minister, Minister Dendias said he and his UAE counterpart “reaffirmed our common vision for peace and stability in the region. We had a timely discussion on bilateral strategic cooperation following the agreement signed between Greece and the United Arab Emirates on foreign policy and defence cooperation last November, developments in the Eastern Mediterranean in the light of the Turkish Foreign Minister’s recent visit to Athens and broader developments in the Middle East and the Gulf.”

“First of all, we had the opportunity to discuss the relations between Greece and the United Arab Emirates in all sectors – defence, energy, economy, tourism, but also to make a thorough review of the issues concerning the wider region – Turkey, Libya, the Middle East. Furthermore, I took the opportunity to brief him on the upcoming visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of India to Athens, which is of particular importance to both us and the United Arab Emirates,” he noted.

“I would like to reiterate that our relationship with the United Arab Emirates is a strategic, long-term relationship, of major significance to both countries,” the Head of Greek Diplomacy emphasised.

Sheikh Abdullah welcomed the visit of Minister Dendias stressing the distinguished relations between the UAE and Greece and their fruitful cooperation in various domains.

The meeting also touched on the on-going cooperation between the two countries to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and to mitigate its fallouts. The two sides stressed the importance of stepping up global efforts to ensure delivery of vaccines to all countries of the world.

They praised the recent announcement on the establishment of a safe travel corridor between the UAE and Greece for fully vaccinated individuals, in addition to mutual recognition of vaccination certificates issued by health authorities in the two countries.

Sheikh Abdullah hosted a dinner banquet in honour of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece and his accompanying delegation. Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, attended the meeting.

During his stay in Abu Dhabi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs visited the new premises of the Greek Embassy and the Artificial Intelligence University Mohamed bin Zayed, where he was briefed on the important scientific work of the university.

Pictured above: H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, receives Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias; in discussion with Minister of State for International Cooperation, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy.

Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President meet in Brussels

 

 

An exchange of views and positions

 

The meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on June 15th “was a step toward a quieter summer,” underlined Government sources. Held on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit, the meeting took place in a cordial climate and there was an agreement of mutual understanding that the tensions of 2020 cannot be repeated.

The same sources said that it is a standing position of the Greek Government that channels of communication with Turkey remain open despite the often differing and in many cases diametrically opposed positions of the two sides on many issues. These differences will have to be dealt with within the context of International Law, exploratory talks, Confidence-Building Measures and political consultations it was added; this would be a framework of communication, which can lead to the easing of tension.

A de-escalation of Turkish actions and rhetoric was a constant goal in order to make a gradual improvement in relations possible, they added.

Greek Foreign Minister receives his Turkish counterpart in Athens

There was a sincere exchange of views and positions and a friendly atmosphere during talks between Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu that took place in Athens on May 31st immediately after Minister Çavuşoğlu’s meeting with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

On his part, Minister Dendias referred in detail to bilateral relations and to EU-Turkey relations, underlining that these go together. He said that small steps forward in dialogue have been made, such as the resumption of exploratory talks, political deliberations, the teleconference on Confidence Building Measures and, recently, Deputy Foreign Minister Kostas Fragogiannis’ meeting with his Turkish counterpart Sedat Önal, in which they discussed issues of bilateral cooperation in the economy and trade and both approved a list on this issue.

The Greek Foreign Minister repeated that the Mitsotakis’ Government supports a constructive dialogue with Turkey based on International Law. He underlined, however, that it was unacceptable for Turkey to maintain its casus belli threat if Greece decides to extend its territorial waters in the Aegean, noting that this had been repeated by the Turkish Foreign Minister himself in a recent interview. He also said that the Turkish-Libyan memorandum is illegal and non-existent.

Minister Dendias referred at length to the Cyprus issue, noting that that the only framework for the resolution of the Cyprus issue is a bizonal, bicommunal federation as set out in the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. Finally, he underlined the need for the stabilisation of the situation in Libya with the organisation of general elections next December and asked again for the withdrawal of the foreign troops and mercenaries from its territory.

In a swift and stern response to provocative statements by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu during the Turkish Minister’s private visit to Thrace on May 14th, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Alexandros Papaioannou stressed that Greece fully respects the obligations arising from the Lausanne Treaty, “which refers clearly and explicitly to a Muslim minority in Thrace”. He called on Turkey to respect the fundamental rules of International Law, including the Treaty of Lausanne, which Turkey has also signed and is therefore obliged to implement.

(PHOTOS: D.PAPAMITSOS, M.KARAYIANNIS/EUROKINISSI.)

Pictured above: Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, addresses members of the press after meeting with his visiting Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, at the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - FEBRUARY 2020

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

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Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

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Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

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Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

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Greece and Russia reaffirm their strong bilateral relationship

  “Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe”   Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently visited Sochi, Russia where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Talks focused on issues of bilateral significance and on regional developments. Whilst in Russia, Minister Dendias travelled to the …

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Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the United Arab Emirates

  “Strategic, long-term relationship of major significance to both countries”   H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias on June 8th-9th. During their meeting, held at the Ministry’s headquarters …

Read More »

Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President meet in Brussels

    An exchange of views and positions   The meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on June 15th “was a step toward a quieter summer,” underlined Government sources. Held on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit, the meeting took …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - JANUARY 2020

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

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Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

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Greece and Russia reaffirm their strong bilateral relationship

  “Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe”   Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently visited Sochi, Russia where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Talks focused on issues of bilateral significance and on regional developments. Whilst in Russia, Minister Dendias travelled to the …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the United Arab Emirates

  “Strategic, long-term relationship of major significance to both countries”   H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias on June 8th-9th. During their meeting, held at the Ministry’s headquarters …

Read More »

Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President meet in Brussels

    An exchange of views and positions   The meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on June 15th “was a step toward a quieter summer,” underlined Government sources. Held on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit, the meeting took …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - DECEMBER 2019

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

Read More »

Greece and Russia reaffirm their strong bilateral relationship

  “Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe”   Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently visited Sochi, Russia where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Talks focused on issues of bilateral significance and on regional developments. Whilst in Russia, Minister Dendias travelled to the …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the United Arab Emirates

  “Strategic, long-term relationship of major significance to both countries”   H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias on June 8th-9th. During their meeting, held at the Ministry’s headquarters …

Read More »

Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President meet in Brussels

    An exchange of views and positions   The meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on June 15th “was a step toward a quieter summer,” underlined Government sources. Held on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit, the meeting took …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - NOVEMBER 2019

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

Read More »

Greece and Russia reaffirm their strong bilateral relationship

  “Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe”   Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently visited Sochi, Russia where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Talks focused on issues of bilateral significance and on regional developments. Whilst in Russia, Minister Dendias travelled to the …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the United Arab Emirates

  “Strategic, long-term relationship of major significance to both countries”   H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias on June 8th-9th. During their meeting, held at the Ministry’s headquarters …

Read More »

Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President meet in Brussels

    An exchange of views and positions   The meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on June 15th “was a step toward a quieter summer,” underlined Government sources. Held on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit, the meeting took …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - OCTOBER 2019

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

 

Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.

 

 

US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, recently travelled to the Eastern Mediterranean to assess and advance the partnerships among the United States, Greece and Cyprus. Chairman Menendez has been a consistent supporter of Greek positions and with his fellow Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) initiated the East Med Act, which promotes US relations with reliable partners in the region including Greece, Cyprus and Israel.

The bipartisan Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act, introduced by Senators Menendez and Rubio and signed into Law on December 20th 2020, is a comprehensive bill that recognises the vital importance of Greece and Cyprus in the region.

The visit of Senator Robert Menendez marks the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances in which Greece participates.

Senator Menendez was invited to be the keynote speaker at the ‘Greece in 2040’ event organised by the ‘Greece 2021’ Committee on August 26th.  The event took place at the Acropolis Museum with a group of high-level dignitaries.  The ceremony marked the first in a series of events organised by the Government of Greece in celebration of the Bicentennial Anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821.

 

“It is up to us, and free people around the world, to keep alive the flame of democracy lit by Ancient Greece millennia ago,” said Chairman Menendez, laying out his vision for the future of the US-Greece relationship grounded in working together to face the rise in anti-democratic movements, including the geostrategic challenges. “At a time like this, going it alone will never do. Because only together can we turn a time of great peril into a time of great promise, both for the Hellenic Republic and the partnership between our nations.”

Senator Menendez underlined Greece’s long-standing relations with the US, while noting that Greece plays a leading role in the region, promoting peace and stability in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean. The US Senator also stressed that Greece has a bright future and is an ideal partner for the US.

“Greece and Cyprus are linchpins of democracy in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he said, adding that the US will leverage the tripartite partnership of these two countries with Israel.

He asserted he is as committed to championing the tripartite partnership as he is to the completion of the US-Greece Defence Partnership Act of 2021.

 

The American Senator noted that Greece played an important role in the first steps of the establishment of democracy in the USA, emphasising that the ideas of the Ancient Greek sages for democracy and the Rule of Law inspired the leaders of the American Revolution to proceed with the Declaration of Independence.

Greece’s struggle for independence has won the admiration of the Americans who were watching the heroic efforts of the Greeks he said, noting that the author of the American Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, sent a letter to Adamantios Korais expressing his solidarity with the Greek people.

Senator Menendez also referred to the American philhellenes who travelled to Greece in order to contribute to the winning of its freedom. “Greek independence is an important achievement, a true example of the story of David and Goliath, and I am glad that these Americans were able to play a small role,” he said, adding that the United States continues to stand by Greece.

 

Referring to Turkey, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman stressed that he hopes it will be a democratic and constructive partner which respects its NATO commitments and the commitments it has made with its neighbours in the region. The United States wants to support efforts in the region to improve relations and ease tensions, “but we cannot remain silent when Turkey’s behaviour escalates tensions.”

Chairman Menendez has also recently blasted Turkey on human rights and its provocative stance in Cyprus. He strongly criticised President Erdogan, saying that his “goal is to advance a separate state on the island of Cyprus.” Commenting on Turkey’s disregard for International Law by opening of the seaside town of Varosha, he said that “this violation of International Law is unacceptable.”

Chairman Menendez also met with Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and President Katerina Sakellaropoulou to discuss the bilateral relationship. President Sakellaropoulou hosted a decoration ceremony in the Presidential Palace to bestow on the Senator the ‘Grand Cross and the Star of the Order of Honour’ for his decades-long efforts to strengthen the United States’ support for the Greek people and for our countries’ enduring partnership.

In Cyprus, the US Senator met with President Nikos Anastasiades to discuss continued efforts to foster peace, stability and security in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as the importance of the US-Cyprus relationship to promote shared values and principles of democracy, Rule of Law and human rights. President Anastasiades awarded the Senator with the ‘Grand Cross of the Order of Makarios III’, the country’s highest civilian distinction.

HELLENIC PARLIAMENT PHOTOS

 

“I am deeply honoured and grateful to be accorded these wonderful honours by the Governments of Greece and Cyprus. My commitment to the United States’ relationship with these close allies is deep. It is long standing. And it will endure as long as I am a United States Senator and beyond,” added Chairman Menendez.

While in Athens, Chairman Menendez also met with Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos, Minister for Development and Investment Adonis Georgiadis, Parliament Speaker Konstantinos Tasoulas and Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis.  His meetings focused on the security issues in the region, geopolitical challenges posed by China and Russia, the implications of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the common threat of climate change as the Hellenic Republic and the US confront devastating wildfires. The Senator also received the ‘Star of Merit and Honour’ by the Ministry of Defence and the ‘Medal of City of Athens’ by City Hall for his contribution to the strengthening of US-Greece relations.

 

Relations between Greece and the United States are “going from strength to strength on all fronts: security, defence, geopolitics and economics.”

 

 

US Senators discuss East Med, Western Balkans, Middle East and Afghanistan

Regional and international issues of mutual interest, particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East and Afghanistan were discussed during a meeting between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and visiting US Senators Chris Murphy and Jon Ossoff on September 6th.

Greeting the two Senators, Premier Mitsotakis commented that relations between Greece and the United States were “going from strength to strength on all fronts: security, defence, geopolitics and economics.”

According to Government sources, the meeting reaffirmed the excellent level of bilateral relations between Athens and Washington and explored the possibilities for their further deepening and expansion in areas such as defence cooperation, investments in strategic infrastructure and cooperation in the energy and environment sectors. They also discussed the Government’s planned reforms of the Greek State and economy.

Premier Mitsotakis outlined the recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and analysed Greece’s role as a pillar of stability and security in the wider region, via cooperation schemes with joint partners, such as Cyprus, Israel and Egypt. Regarding Afghanistan, the Prime Minister stressed that those fleeing the country should stay as close to their homes as possible.

The meeting also addressed the progress of the US-Greece Defence and Interparliamentary Partnership Act that is currently in Congress, which will strengthen Greek-US cooperation even further. It also examined the changes in the US-Greece Mutual Defence Cooperation Agreement that are currently being negotiated.

The Eastern Mediterranean, the Western Balkans and the Greece-US defence cooperation agreement were the focus of Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias’ meeting with US Senators Chris Murphy and Jon Ossoff.

“We see your presence here as an indication of the enormous importance that the United States attaches to Greece and the wider region,” Minister Dendias said in a statement during the meeting. He also reminded that their visit followed the visit of the Chair of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Menendez, to Athens. “Your visit comes at a very important time for the region and for Greek-US relations, our strategic bilateral cooperation,” he stressed. “We are very close to concluding the negotiations on the mutual defence cooperation agreement, which I estimate we will sign during my upcoming visit to Washington in October,” he said.

As he pointed out, the two sides had the opportunity to discuss developments in the region and the situation in the Mediterranean and to exchange views on the future.

 

Pictured above: visiting Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), accompanied by US Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt, pictured during his meetings with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis; Receiving awards and distinctions from President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou; Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos; and from Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis. Senator and Mrs. Menendez touring the exhibition ‘Beholding Liberty – two centuries later’ with Parliament President Constantine Tassoulas; HNDGS Chief, General Konstantinos Floros, Deputy Defence Minister Alkiviadis Stefanis, Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos, Senator Menendez and Ambassador Pyatt; Addressing the press with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias; Ambassador Pyatt and Minister Dendias with visiting US Senators Senators Chris Murphy and Jon Ossoff.

(Photos: Eurokinissi/Hellenic Parliament.)

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

 

Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”

 

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive meetings with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Nikola Dimitrov, President of the Assembly Talat Xhaferi and the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski.

During the meetings, bilateral relations in all fields, including the economy and energy, investments and commerce, transport and the tackling of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the country’s European perspective were discussed. Within this context, Minister Dendias raised the issue of the full, consistent and in good faith implementation of the Prespa Agreement with the aforementioned officials. Developments in the Western Balkans and the wider region were also examined.

Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend,” Minister Dendias said during a meeting with Minister Osmani. Noting that the faithful implementation of the Prespa Agreement between the two countries would serve as a foundation for closer relations, he added during joint statements, “as an immediate neighbour, Greece has every reason and interest in your country’s and your people’s stability, security and prosperity.” He also expressed Greece’s support in North Macedonia’s European prospect and in the start of accession negotiations with the EU. “The West Balkans must never be allowed to become the powder keg of Europe again, as we always tell our European partners,” he said, adding that Greece is doing what it can to guarantee that stability in the region.

Minister Dendias said that the recent defence agreement signed by North Macedonia and Turkey created some questions in Greece, but he said that he had received the necessary clarifications by Minister Osmani. He also thanked North Macedonia for supporting Greece’s candidacy for a seat as a non-permanent Member in the UN Security Council in 2025-2026 and for its statement condemning illegal Turkish actions in Varosha on Cyprus. The two Ministers further discussed energy collaboration and Greek investments in North Macedonia, while Minister Dendias noted that Greek business owners have invested over half a billion euros and created over 20,000 jobs in the country. Bilateral trade reached to nearly 800 million euros last year, despite the pandemic, he added.

Minister Dendias welcomed the collaboration with Greece in defence, including the supervision of North Macedonia’s airspace by the Hellenic Air Force and the cultural agreement to preserve and protect Byzantine and post-Byzantine monuments in the country. He also welcomed the latest actions of North Macedonia in changing names, according to the Prespa Agreement provisions.

Minister Osmani thanked Greece for its support in seeking EU membership and for the 120,000 coronavirus vaccines it sent to his country, which made a difference in protecting the public. He said the visit by the Greek Minister contributed to developing the two countries’ economic relations and noted that trade between the two countries rose by 20% in the first quarter of the year, compared to the corresponding quarter in 2020. The visiting Minister further met with representatives of Greek businesses active in North Macedonia.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, pictured during his meetings in Skopje with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev; Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Nikola Dimitrov; President of the Assembly Talat Xhaferi; President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski; and Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani.

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias holds a joint press briefing in Athens with his visiting Libyan counterpart, Foreign Minister Najlah Al-Mangoush

 

“Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”

 

Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all paramilitary and mercenary forces from Libya and have no foreign military presence in order to soon hold fair elections in the country.

The Head of Greek Diplomacy reiterated that Greece is not attempting, unlike other countries in the region, to turn back time and make Libya a de facto colony of foreign interests. “Greece doesn’t seek anything that will not be accepted and supported by the Libyan people, by Libyan society. Greece doesn’t seek to impose any illegal agreement on Libya, any agreement that the Libyan House of Representatives itself has rejected,” the Foreign Minister said.

“We are interested in the stabilisation, growth and prosperity of your country. We want Libya to participate in the new architecture for an understanding of stability and security that our region needs. Geographically speaking, we are immediate neighbours. Crete is a 20 minutes flight from Libya and the stabilisation of Libya, stability in Libya, affects our whole region,” Minister Dendias added.

“The most important issue at stake for us is to ensure the independence, the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Libya,” he underlined, before noting that a key condition for this is holding fair elections on December 24th, as provided for in UN Resolutions.

Urging a more decisive stance from Brussels on the issue of Libya, the Greek Foreign Minister stressed during the meeting with his Libyan counterpart that “instability on the southern shores of the Mediterranean affects every country in the wider vicinity.”

Minister Dendias added that he plans to recommend that Minister Mangoush is invited to address an upcoming luncheon of European Union Foreign Ministers and said that he will bring up the subject with EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell.

Minister Dendias also noted that Greece was one of the first countries to re-open its Embassy in Tripoli and that it was also the first country to inaugurate a Consulate General in Benghazi. “To be precise, we re-opened it, because we had to close it in 1998. We try to assist in any way we can. We have already donated 200.000 vaccines to address the corona virus pandemic and if you need extra help with it, we are entirely at your disposal. We wish to assist the Libyan people in their daily lives.”

Referring to the upcoming elections in her country, Minister Al-Mangoush called on Greece to help see these succeed, “because security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU.” She also called on the EU to help Libya by providing the necessary tools for security there. Minister Mangoush also said that Libya is prepared to work with Brussels on the issue of migration from Africa to Europe.

After describing the recent visit of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Libya as a sign of “great support for Libya’s National Unity Government,” she invited Minister Dendias to visit the country at his earliest convenience.

The two delegations in conference at the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

 

The migration crisis is “a European challenge”

 

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the Lithuanian Foreign Minister and marks the excellent level of Greek-Lithuanian relations and the common will to promote cooperation bilaterally and at European level.

 

In the broader talks of the delegations that followed the bilateral meeting of the two Ministers, the strengthening of the cooperation and the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, Western Balkans and Eastern Neighborhood were discussed.

Minister Dendias was also received by the Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament Victoria Smilite-Nielsen, with whom he discussed bilateral relations and cooperation, with an emphasis on Parliamentary Diplomacy, while he had been invited to address the Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Greece and Lithuania may be geographically far apart, but “we share a common fate as we are both in the boundaries of the EU,” Minister Nikos Dendias said at his meeting with his Lithuanian counterpart. He added that the migration crisis is an issue which both countries can raise in the EU Council of Ministers as “a European challenge,” and said that Greece could provide Lithuania with technical expertise, know-how and human resources to help with migration influxes.

Greece faced a migration crisis in the mid 2010s when asylum seekers from the Middle East started coming to the country via the Mediterranean Sea en masse.

“We can help in any way Lithuania sees fit,” the Greek Minister said during a joint press conference with Lithuanian Foreign Minister. “We have the experience of the bigger neighbour pushing, instrumentalising the migration phenomenon.”

Minister Landsbergis said he asked his Greek counterpart “for advice and technical assistance” since his country “has been dealing with the refugee problem much longer”.

Greek officers could come to Lithuania to consult border guards and officers from the Interior Ministry, Minister Landsbergis said, adding that Greece had a lot of experience in applying EU law when processing asylum applications.

Lithuania has never been the first country of entry to the EU for migrants, He said, “and Greece has”.

Lithuania has recently seen a dramatic increase in irregular migration from Belarus, with Lithuanian officials saying that Belarusian authorities are helping migrants cross the Lithuanian border.

Minister Landsbergis claims that the Belarusian Government “is actively organising the refugee programme and is using it against Lithuania as one of the hybrid instruments”.

Speaking ahead of a working lunch, Minister Dendias underlined that “we are not happy with the level of our economic cooperation,” and added that “we can do a lot more, as there are many initiatives, like the Three Seas Initiative or connecting our railways, that could help us enhance our economic relations. This will also help us address energy issues.”

Referring to the nuclear power plants of Astravets in Belarus and the Akkuyu project in Turkey, both built with Russian technology, Minister Dendias said Greece is “very sensitive with nuclear energy,” adding that he is “old enough to remember what it means to have a nuclear accident in your neighbourhood.” Nuclear energy should be discussed within the context of EU neighbours, he stressed.

The Greek Minister also condemned anew the recent forced landing of a civilian flight by Belarusian authorities at Minsk airport as “a piracy,” and commented on the recently meeting of the Greek and Turkish leaders on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit in Brussels.

 

Pictured above: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis; with Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament, Victoria Smilite-Nielsen, and other officials.

(Photos: Hellenic MoFA)

The new General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy: An important soft power mechanism

 

Interview with John Chrysoulakis,
Secretary General for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy

 

 

 

“Greeks abroad are a major force in the dissemination of Greek values and culture, with an active role in the promotion of Greek positions on issues of interest before international public opinion, but also as a channel of friendship and solidarity with their host countries.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

GDL: What are the objectives and policy goals of the new General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy?

JC: The General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy has now a dual focus, on the one hand the Diaspora and on the other Public Diplomacy. These two aspects are complementary, extroversive and act as an operational arm for the promotion of Greece abroad. The General Secretariat is committed to bringing the Greek communities closer to each other, strengthen their ties with the homeland and preserve their language and cultural identity.

At the same time, through Public Diplomacy campaigns, it is creating a modern narrative for the country and promoting its image internationally, with help and cooperation of the Greeks abroad, who, wherever they live, are a prominent part of the local communities.

In addition, the reversal of ‘Brain Drain’ is also one of our goals and the Greek Government is actively interested in protecting the productive fabric of our country. The Prime Minister himself has announced financial and fiscal measures and incentives to restrict this phenomenon, encourage the creation of new well-paid jobs in many sectors and attract significant foreign investment capitals. Foreign investors have already responded to these measures, as Microsoft has decided to invest in data centres in our country and Volkswagen is turning Astypalaia into the first and only ‘smart’ island in the Mediterranean that runs almost entirely on green energy.

“Besides ‘Brain Drain’, there is also the so-called ‘Brain Circulation’, ie., the mobility of scientists. Aimed at bringing the Greek Diaspora closer to Greece, we are creating and promoting networks that will bring together professionals and scientists of Greek origin that excel abroad with their colleagues in Greece.”

Besides ‘Brain Drain’, there is also the so-called ‘Brain Circulation’, ie., the mobility of scientists. Aimed at bringing the Greek Diaspora closer to Greece, we are creating and promoting networks that will bring together professionals and scientists of Greek origin that excel abroad with their colleagues in Greece.

GDL: In your opinion, what changes need to be undertaken in order for the new Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy to be fully functional and efficient in order to create a strategic decision-making and coordination centre to communicate the multifaceted policies and messages of our country?

JC: In the Unified Government Policy Plan, one of the key elements concerning the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) is to strengthen the international image of the country by using modern communication strategies and digital tools.

Implementing this directive, the General Secretariat Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy has put at the top of its agenda the digitisation of its actions, as well as the actions carried out by the Public Diplomacy Offices abroad. We are confident that increasing the use of social media and implementing digital diplomacy strategies will yield to positive results in the near future.

Within this context, we recently organised an online seminar on Digital Public Diplomacy, in collaboration with the University of Oxford. Our aim was to highlight the influence of social media in the diplomatic field and at the same time answer the question of how new media can be used as tools for formulating a Public Diplomacy strategy.

GDL: What initiatives has the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy launched so far?

JC: Let me start from the current year, which for us at the MoFA, as for every Greek and friend of Greece, is a milestone year for all Hellenism and the image of Greece internationally. It is the year that we celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Greek Revolution, the year that we communicate internationally the image of a Modern State with all its achievements during the two centuries of its independence.

The General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy is involved in most of the events that have either been designed or submitted to the ‘Greece 2021’ Committee or organised independently around the world. Let me mention the illumination, for the first time, iconic buildings in the capitals and major cities of the world were illuminated in the colours of the Greek flag, congratulatory messages of heads of state and other foreign personalities and wishes sent via our public broadcaster from our prominent expatriates in America and Europe all the way through to Australia.

We have coordinated dozens of events to date, while an equal number are in line involving our contribution, participation and support. Additionally, we have begun providing the Diaspora, our Diplomatic Authorities and Public Diplomacy Offices abroad with a series of ready-to-use digitalised documents, testimonies and archival material which we obtained through our cooperation with Piraeus Bank, in synergy with the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the National Historical Museum, Greek National Opera and the General State Archives. The provision of these products will continue throughout the year and will be enriched with more digitalised material from the Hellenic Army Academy, the War Museum, the Athens Concert Hall and other institutions.

At the same time, we are implementing cultural programmes with other countries, such as the Greek-Russian history year in 2021. I recently participated in an art exhibition organised within the context of the Greek-Russian history year in 2021 which gave me the opportunity to appreciate the influence and appeal of Greek culture on this great country, Russia. Likewise with China, where I was asked to address major Chinese media on the occasion of our National Day, highlighting the importance of Greek National Deliverance and the global and timeless significance of the Greek liberation struggle.

Beyond however our Bicentennial celebratory events, the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy participates in a multitude of other initiatives related to the Greek language, higher education, arts and culture. It is also active in the so-called ‘Parliamentary Diplomacy’ in cooperation with the Special Permanent Committee on Greeks Abroad of the Greek Parliament, the World Hellenic Inter-Parliamentary Association (PADEE) and the European Network of Elected Greeks in Local Authorities Abroad. It also opens up new paths of communication with the Arab world, participating in the annual meetings of Greek and Arab poets, in which the most important Arab Writers Associations take part.

At this point, I would like to mention our special contribution to the international promotion of the Greek language through various targeted actions, such as the online educational platform ‘staellinika.com’, which we have been running worldwide with great success and which constitutes an innovative action for the diffusion of the Greek language and culture, especially under the current difficult conditions of the pandemic.

There is, moreover, the promotion of International Greek Language Day for a second consecutive year, both in Greece and abroad via the Public Diplomacy Offices, to highlight its universality. We celebrated International Greek Language Day with events, videos and roundtables around the world. We communicated our messages to events that took place from nearby Italy to faraway Los Angeles, Montreal and Sydney. Our Public Diplomacy Offices were involved in these endeavours worldwide.

I would also like to stress our significant efforts to promote Greek higher education abroad through the ‘Study In Greece’ campaign, which concerns the English-language programmes offered by Greek Universities, in the promotion of which the Greek Diaspora is very active. This year, in cooperation with the General Secretariat of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, we organised the webinar ‘Reinforcing bridges between Greek Universities and the Greek Diaspora’, where government officials and prominent Greeks living abroad demonstrated the high standards of Greek higher education and the variety of options in Greek and English that Greek universities offer to both expatriate and foreign citizens. This initiative aims to attract expatriates and foreign students interested in attending foreign-language university programmes in Greece.

Another important event was the large international online conference we organised a year ago, with the participation of 100 expatriate doctors from 25 countries, which was an essential step toward the creation of a network of expatriate doctors.

In conclusion, I would like to underline that during the first half of 2021 and in the midst of the pandemic, we have held 1,350 public diplomacy events, through the Public Diplomacy Offices, an increase of 48% compared to the same period of 2020.

“The General Secretariat is also responsible for Public Diplomacy. An important soft power mechanism which, thanks to the advance of new technologies and Social Media, is gaining more and more ground in our country’s effort to promote its new image to international audiences.”

GDL: What comparative advantages of the country the General Secretariat is cultivating in order to highlight Greece in the international public opinion?

JC: As I mentioned before, the General Secretariat is also responsible for Public Diplomacy. An important soft power mechanism which, thanks to the advance of new technologies and Social Media, is gaining more and more ground in our country’s effort to promote its new image to international audiences. It is a horizontal policy that assists all types of diplomacy, and that is why Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has integrated it to the MoFA, aiming at creating a decision-making centre that will coordinate and streamline policies and messages that our country wishes to communicate abroad.

There are currently 29 Public Diplomacy Offices operating in several of our Diplomatic Missions in Europe, America, China and Australia, staffed by highly trained officers who network with media representatives of the host country and communicate the positions and comparative advantages of Greece through targeted actions, communication campaigns and customised events. And our comparative advantages are numerous: our culture, history and tourism, our growing economy and remarkable geopolitical position, the investment friendly environment we now offer to foreign investors, our skilful human capital and the top-of-the-line communications and transport infrastructures we possess, etc.

“I believe that we have done a good job, since last year Greece ranked among the top 10 “soft power” countries in the world for the first time.”

I believe that we have done a good job, since last year Greece ranked among the top 10 “soft power” countries in the world for the first time according to IFG-Monocle Soft Power Survey 2020, which is an international survey about countries whose softer tactics are bearing fruit, proving the great strides we have made in this field.

GDL: How can Greece enhance its external relations regarding cultural heritage?

JC: Cultural diplomacy contributes immensely to bringing peoples closer. It allows us to better understand those around us, their concerns and their dreams. It also allows Greece to express and convey its viewpoint of contemporary society. Cultural diplomacy promotes the modern image and thinking of the country. Cultural exchanges help to build a climate of trust and mutual benefit between peoples. Cultural Diplomacy practically promotes patterns of behaviour that subconsciously create an overall portrait of the country. Thus, communication mediation through cultural production is of key significance to international diplomacy. Artists and intellectuals, in cooperation with diplomats and competent bodies, can play a decisive role in matters related to peace, culture and Human Rights. This is easy for Greeks in particular, as they carry the wealth of a significant culture.

“Cultural diplomacy contributes immensely to bringing peoples closer… Cultural Diplomacy practically promotes patterns of behaviour that subconsciously create an overall portrait of the country. Thus, communication mediation through cultural production is of key significance to international diplomacy.”

GDL: By scaling up the new General Secretariat with the Public Diplomacy Sector it seems that the Greek communities abroad will lose their strong bond. Is this statement true and how will you strengthen your relations with them?

JC: Public Diplomacy and Greeks Abroad are two fields of action that not only do not conflict, but complement each other and are both tied to the same global openness and strategic planning in promoting Greece abroad. The new General Secretariat of which I’m in charge continues to be the channel of communication between Diaspora Greeks and the metropolitan centre. It is the institution that understands and mediates between our expatriates and the Greek State, while creating the modern narrative of the country and promoting its positive image to international public opinion with the help and cooperation of our expatriates, who, wherever they may live, are a prominent element of their local communities with a special standing, acknowledgement and influence.

“Public Diplomacy and Greeks Abroad are two fields of action that not only do not conflict, but complement each other and are both tied to the same global openness and strategic planning in promoting Greece abroad. The new General Secretariat continues to be the channel of communication between Diaspora Greeks and the metropolitan centre. It is the institution that understands and mediates between our expatriates and the Greek State, while creating the modern narrative of the country and promoting its positive image to international public opinion with the help and cooperation of our expatriates, who, wherever they may live, are a prominent element of their local communities with a special standing, acknowledgement and influence.”

I believe that in the future the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy through its new strong and unified structure will better serve its goals, coordinating and implementing in a unified and effective way all actions and functions that serve the needs of Greeks abroad and promote the country in global public opinion. In fact, the merging of the two General Secretariats was beneficial for the Greeks abroad, not only because during the last eight months our contacts and events we had with them multiplied, but also because the Public Diplomacy Offices played an important role in strengthening our ties with the Greek Diaspora.

 

Greeks abroad are a major force in the dissemination of Greek values and culture, with an active role in the promotion of Greek positions on issues of interest before international public opinion, but also as a channel of friendship and solidarity with their host countries. The deep and enduring relationship of the Greek Diaspora, as well as philhellenes everywhere, with Greece, was amply reflected in this year’s events celebrating the Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution, not to mention its significant contribution in efforts to overturn the decision which, in breach of UNESCO regulations, turned the universal Hagia Sophia monument into a mosque.

Greeks abroad are a major force in the dissemination of Greek values and culture, with an active role in the promotion of Greek positions on issues of interest before international public opinion, but also as a channel of friendship and solidarity with their host countries. The deep and enduring relationship of the Greek Diaspora, as well as philhellenes everywhere, with Greece, was amply reflected in this year’s events celebrating the Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution.”

Proving its strong support to our Diaspora, the Greek Government, honouring its commitments, but also implementing a constitutional requirement that for years has not been brought into effect, proceeded with regulating the issue of expatriate voting through legislation which mustered the political consensus that was necessary on this important issue.

At the same time, given the expressed interest of the Prime Minister Mitsotakis and the competent Deputy Foreign Minister, Costas Vlasis, for the facilitation of our expatriates’ needs, the digitalisation of our consular services began with the ‘myConsulLive’ system, an online portal designed to enable expatriate Greeks to conduct their transactions with the MoFA consular authorities through video calls with competent officials, with no physical presence needed. Additionally, we have launched the pilot ‘Virtual Assistant’ service, a globally innovative virtual assistance programme using chatbots that interface with all existing and planned digital information and assistance platforms of the MoFA, providing access to all information and requests submitted to Consular Authorities along with processing guidelines.

“We attribute great importance to Africa since many Greek communities with remarkable presence and active participation in economic, scientific and cultural developments of the continent, constitute a permanent bridge of communication and cooperation between Greece and their countries of residence.”

GDL: A few decades ago, the Greek presence in Africa was significant and placed an important role in its modern economic development. What initiatives are you planning to undertake to revive the Greek presence in the African continent?

JC: We attribute great importance to Africa since many Greek communities with remarkable presence and active participation in economic, scientific and cultural developments of the continent, constitute a permanent bridge of communication and cooperation between Greece and their countries of residence. Within this framework, we have applied a comprehensive strategy for the Greek Diaspora, designed to support and promote the interests of Greeks abroad, as well as to strengthen their relations with the motherland.

Given our historical relations with North African countries, we recently inaugurated our General Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and established a trilateral scheme including Greece, Cyprus and Egypt that convenes frequently and discusses Diaspora issues. Promoting the Greek language and culture is one of our top priorities in the region. To this end, we are implementing a comprehensive plan aimed at strengthening school education in Africa. Thus, we have briefed our Greek teachers in Africa about the innovative educational capabilities that the online platform ‘staellinika.com’ offers, we have provided Congolese schools with computers, books and digital material, while I have personally attended, together with His Eminence Metropolitan Ioannis of Zambia, events of Zambian schools, as well as other events organised by the Greek Department of the SAHETI School. We have participated in numerous events in Cairo and Alexandria, and under our Auspices, the Hellenic Federation of South Africa presented the biggest Greek Flag ever (1,600 square metres), as well as a real life-size poster of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, during a 1821 commemorative event in Johannesburg last March.

I would also like to mention that the ‘Hosting Programmes’ have recently been redesigned and they will no longer offer just holidays in Greece, but they will be enriched with a Greek language and culture programme. Under their new format, we are certain that the Hosting Programmes will be considered as an extraordinary experience with an indelible mark on the children’s development. Within this context, we have planned an action for our Diaspora communities and the philhellenes with the view to operate Summer Schools with Greek language courses. Especially for the Diaspora children, these schools will start operating shortly, in three age groups, offering lessons in Greek language, history and culture.

GDL: How is the General Secretariat coping with the Covid-19 pandemic and what system has been put in place to keep the international media informed?

JC: It’s true that all actions for Greeks abroad, as well as for Public Diplomacy, which involve live participation, visits and close contact have been suspended and that is very unfortunate because there were many and well-planned events. But what has not been suspended and remains undiminished is our interest in our cause. Fortunately, thanks to digital technology, we are able through continuous daily online contacts to participate in events that make Greece present daily around the world. I really look forward to the end of the pandemic, which will allow me to visit again the Greek communities around the world, listen to their problems and their ideas, but also demonstrate to them the interest and support of the Greek Government.

 

Interview by Nicolas Boutsicos
Editor, Greek Diplomatic Life

Greece and Russia reaffirm their strong bilateral relationship

 

“Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe”

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently visited Sochi, Russia where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Talks focused on issues of bilateral significance and on regional developments. Whilst in Russia, Minister Dendias travelled to the coastal cities of Anapa and Gelendzhik on the Black Sea where he met with businessmen and representatives of the large Greek diaspora that is making a tangible contribution to the promotion of ties between Russia and Greece.

The Greek Foreign Minister expressed the hope that it will be possible to schedule the visit of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Russia within 2021 to promote bilateral relations during a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

“Russia has repeatedly supported the unalienable right to expand our territorial waters and the fact that all differences must be resolved on the basis of the International Law of the Sea, something that the Minister reiterated during our talks today,” the Greek Foreign Minister said. He also expressed his appreciation for “the Russian commitment to the Resolutions of the UN Security Council concerning the Cyprus issue.”

Minister Dendias also expressed his concern that “Turkey is promoting itself as the heir of the Ottoman heritage and as the leader of Muslims globally, a practice that destabilises the wider region.” In this regard, “Russia’s contribution to promoting stability, especially as a permanent Member of the UN Security Council and the Quartet, is of massive significance,” he added.

Minister Dendias also said that he had a “sincere and open” discussion on the difficult relationship of the European Union and Russia and that he remembers the partnership agreement signed between them 27 years ago on Corfu, his place of origin, long before he was involved in politics. “It is the Greek Government’s wish that the relationship between the EU and Russia returns to the level it was, not get worse,” he said, as “Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe and plays a significant role in dealing with regional and international challenges.” Greece is an EU Member State and committed to its European obligations, but continues to stress the need for dialogue and mutual respect, a message that the Premier of Greece conveys to his EU counterparts, he added.

On his part, the Russian Foreign Minister said this was the fourth meeting between the two, adding that regular contacts helped guarantee and confirm the friendly relations between the two countries.

“Greece is one of the most significant partners of the Russian Federation in Europe,” he said, noting Greece’s 200th Anniversary this year of its Declaration of Independence as “our joint celebration”. Russia contributed in key ways to Greece’s independence from the Ottomans and to its formation as a State, he added. Despite the difficulties arising from the coronavirus pandemic, Greek-Russian collaboration keeps developing steadily with constructive dialogue at high and the highest levels.

“Today we reviewed progress in the implementation of agreements signed by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, as well as the decisions discussed during the meeting of Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin with Premier Mitsotakis on March 24th and their follow-up phone conversation on May 5th,” Minister Lavrov said, referring to the Russian Premier’s visit to Greece for the celebrations of Greek Independence.

“We have agreed to work to overcome the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in order to maintain practical cooperation between our countries; confirmed mutual interest in expanding ties, implementing joint projects in trade, investment, research and energy and restoring tourist flows. We supported the convention of the working groups of the Joint Russian-Greek Commission for Economic, Industrial, Scientific and Technical Cooperation and its plenary session as soon as possible this year.”

“We assessed our treaty and legal framework. We are working on about 20 draft agreements. We agreed to expedite their drafting with a view to signing them during future contacts” he added.

Minister Lavrov reiterated Russia’s position on the Cyprus issues, of seeking a solution on the basis of UN Security Council Resolutions for a bicommunal and bizonal federation and that of transferring the issues of security guarantees to the jurisdiction of the Council’s five permanent Members. He also conveyed Russia’s willingness to serve as mediators on the issue.

Russian-EU relations are “not going through the best of times,” the Russian Minister acknowledged, underlining that it was not Russia’s initiative to start the cycle of sanctions imposed by Brussels. “We confirmed our readiness for constructive dialogue with the EU, but based exclusively on the principles of equality, mutual respect and evaluation of each other’s interest, not based on unilateral illegal demands,” he clarified, adding that clashes and tension in the Balkans, the Middle East, East Mediterranean, Libya, Syria and Transcaucasia “can be resolved solely by political and diplomatic means on the principles of International Law, without allowing confrontation.”

Minister Lavrov also mentioned among others the cultural and humanitarian exchanges developing positively. “Our cultural and educational exchanges are making steady headway. We share the opinion that the joint Year of History in 2021 will give a fresh impetus to people-to-people contacts. It is being conducted under the patronage of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic Kyriakos Mitsotakis and includes over 120 events in our countries. This major undertaking will promote confidence, understanding and friendship between our nations,” he noted.

Both sides analysed in depth international and regional issues and agreed to continue close cooperation at multilateral venues, primarily, the United Nations, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).

“We are very happy with the results of the talks and the fact that our Greek partners are willing to further promote bilateral collaboration in several sectors,” the Russian Minister concluded.

Pictured above: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, receives a warm welcome to Sochi from his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov; the two delegations in conference headed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs; giving joint statements to the press.

Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the United Arab Emirates

 

“Strategic, long-term relationship of major significance to both countries”

 

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias on June 8th-9th. During their meeting, held at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi, both sides discussed the strategic relations between the UAE and Greece, as well as the importance of advancing their overall cooperation to achieve the interests of their peoples.

 

They also reviewed issues of mutual interest, including developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and the importance of maintaining security and stability in the Middle East.

On his two-day Official Visit to the UAE, his fourth in his tenure as Foreign Minister, Minister Dendias said he and his UAE counterpart “reaffirmed our common vision for peace and stability in the region. We had a timely discussion on bilateral strategic cooperation following the agreement signed between Greece and the United Arab Emirates on foreign policy and defence cooperation last November, developments in the Eastern Mediterranean in the light of the Turkish Foreign Minister’s recent visit to Athens and broader developments in the Middle East and the Gulf.”

“First of all, we had the opportunity to discuss the relations between Greece and the United Arab Emirates in all sectors – defence, energy, economy, tourism, but also to make a thorough review of the issues concerning the wider region – Turkey, Libya, the Middle East. Furthermore, I took the opportunity to brief him on the upcoming visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of India to Athens, which is of particular importance to both us and the United Arab Emirates,” he noted.

“I would like to reiterate that our relationship with the United Arab Emirates is a strategic, long-term relationship, of major significance to both countries,” the Head of Greek Diplomacy emphasised.

Sheikh Abdullah welcomed the visit of Minister Dendias stressing the distinguished relations between the UAE and Greece and their fruitful cooperation in various domains.

The meeting also touched on the on-going cooperation between the two countries to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and to mitigate its fallouts. The two sides stressed the importance of stepping up global efforts to ensure delivery of vaccines to all countries of the world.

They praised the recent announcement on the establishment of a safe travel corridor between the UAE and Greece for fully vaccinated individuals, in addition to mutual recognition of vaccination certificates issued by health authorities in the two countries.

Sheikh Abdullah hosted a dinner banquet in honour of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece and his accompanying delegation. Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, attended the meeting.

During his stay in Abu Dhabi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs visited the new premises of the Greek Embassy and the Artificial Intelligence University Mohamed bin Zayed, where he was briefed on the important scientific work of the university.

Pictured above: H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, receives Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias; in discussion with Minister of State for International Cooperation, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy.

Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President meet in Brussels

 

 

An exchange of views and positions

 

The meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on June 15th “was a step toward a quieter summer,” underlined Government sources. Held on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit, the meeting took place in a cordial climate and there was an agreement of mutual understanding that the tensions of 2020 cannot be repeated.

The same sources said that it is a standing position of the Greek Government that channels of communication with Turkey remain open despite the often differing and in many cases diametrically opposed positions of the two sides on many issues. These differences will have to be dealt with within the context of International Law, exploratory talks, Confidence-Building Measures and political consultations it was added; this would be a framework of communication, which can lead to the easing of tension.

A de-escalation of Turkish actions and rhetoric was a constant goal in order to make a gradual improvement in relations possible, they added.

Greek Foreign Minister receives his Turkish counterpart in Athens

There was a sincere exchange of views and positions and a friendly atmosphere during talks between Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu that took place in Athens on May 31st immediately after Minister Çavuşoğlu’s meeting with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

On his part, Minister Dendias referred in detail to bilateral relations and to EU-Turkey relations, underlining that these go together. He said that small steps forward in dialogue have been made, such as the resumption of exploratory talks, political deliberations, the teleconference on Confidence Building Measures and, recently, Deputy Foreign Minister Kostas Fragogiannis’ meeting with his Turkish counterpart Sedat Önal, in which they discussed issues of bilateral cooperation in the economy and trade and both approved a list on this issue.

The Greek Foreign Minister repeated that the Mitsotakis’ Government supports a constructive dialogue with Turkey based on International Law. He underlined, however, that it was unacceptable for Turkey to maintain its casus belli threat if Greece decides to extend its territorial waters in the Aegean, noting that this had been repeated by the Turkish Foreign Minister himself in a recent interview. He also said that the Turkish-Libyan memorandum is illegal and non-existent.

Minister Dendias referred at length to the Cyprus issue, noting that that the only framework for the resolution of the Cyprus issue is a bizonal, bicommunal federation as set out in the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. Finally, he underlined the need for the stabilisation of the situation in Libya with the organisation of general elections next December and asked again for the withdrawal of the foreign troops and mercenaries from its territory.

In a swift and stern response to provocative statements by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu during the Turkish Minister’s private visit to Thrace on May 14th, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Alexandros Papaioannou stressed that Greece fully respects the obligations arising from the Lausanne Treaty, “which refers clearly and explicitly to a Muslim minority in Thrace”. He called on Turkey to respect the fundamental rules of International Law, including the Treaty of Lausanne, which Turkey has also signed and is therefore obliged to implement.

(PHOTOS: D.PAPAMITSOS, M.KARAYIANNIS/EUROKINISSI.)

Pictured above: Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, addresses members of the press after meeting with his visiting Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, at the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - SEPTEMBER 2019

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

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Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

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Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

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Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

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Greece and Russia reaffirm their strong bilateral relationship

  “Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe”   Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently visited Sochi, Russia where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Talks focused on issues of bilateral significance and on regional developments. Whilst in Russia, Minister Dendias travelled to the …

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Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the United Arab Emirates

  “Strategic, long-term relationship of major significance to both countries”   H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias on June 8th-9th. During their meeting, held at the Ministry’s headquarters …

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Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President meet in Brussels

    An exchange of views and positions   The meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on June 15th “was a step toward a quieter summer,” underlined Government sources. Held on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit, the meeting took …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - JULY/AUGUST 2019

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

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Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

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Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

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Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

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Greece and Russia reaffirm their strong bilateral relationship

  “Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe”   Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently visited Sochi, Russia where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Talks focused on issues of bilateral significance and on regional developments. Whilst in Russia, Minister Dendias travelled to the …

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Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the United Arab Emirates

  “Strategic, long-term relationship of major significance to both countries”   H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias on June 8th-9th. During their meeting, held at the Ministry’s headquarters …

Read More »

Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President meet in Brussels

    An exchange of views and positions   The meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on June 15th “was a step toward a quieter summer,” underlined Government sources. Held on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit, the meeting took …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - JUNE 2019

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

Read More »

Greece and Russia reaffirm their strong bilateral relationship

  “Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe”   Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently visited Sochi, Russia where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Talks focused on issues of bilateral significance and on regional developments. Whilst in Russia, Minister Dendias travelled to the …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the United Arab Emirates

  “Strategic, long-term relationship of major significance to both countries”   H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias on June 8th-9th. During their meeting, held at the Ministry’s headquarters …

Read More »

Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President meet in Brussels

    An exchange of views and positions   The meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on June 15th “was a step toward a quieter summer,” underlined Government sources. Held on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit, the meeting took …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - MAY 2019

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

Read More »

Greece and Russia reaffirm their strong bilateral relationship

  “Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe”   Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently visited Sochi, Russia where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Talks focused on issues of bilateral significance and on regional developments. Whilst in Russia, Minister Dendias travelled to the …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the United Arab Emirates

  “Strategic, long-term relationship of major significance to both countries”   H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias on June 8th-9th. During their meeting, held at the Ministry’s headquarters …

Read More »

Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President meet in Brussels

    An exchange of views and positions   The meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on June 15th “was a step toward a quieter summer,” underlined Government sources. Held on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit, the meeting took …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - APRIL 2019

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - MARCH 2019

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - FEBRUARY 2019

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

Read More »

Greece and Russia reaffirm their strong bilateral relationship

  “Russia is an inalienable part of the safety architecture of Europe”   Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently visited Sochi, Russia where he met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Talks focused on issues of bilateral significance and on regional developments. Whilst in Russia, Minister Dendias travelled to the …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the United Arab Emirates

  “Strategic, long-term relationship of major significance to both countries”   H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, received Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Nikos Dendias on June 8th-9th. During their meeting, held at the Ministry’s headquarters …

Read More »

Greek Prime Minister and Turkish President meet in Brussels

    An exchange of views and positions   The meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Brussels on June 15th “was a step toward a quieter summer,” underlined Government sources. Held on the sidelines of the NATO Leaders Summit, the meeting took …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - JANUARY 2019

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - DECEMBER 2018

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »

Minister of Foreign Affairs in Skopje

  Greece wants to be “North Macedonia’s closest ally and its best friend”   Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Deputy Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis, recently travelled to Skopje at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. In Skopje, the Minister held successive …

Read More »

Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs in Athens

  “Security and stability in Libya mean security and stability for Greece and the EU”   Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his visiting Libyan counterpart Najlah Al-Mangoush in Athens on September 6th. In joint statements after the meeting, the Greek Minister stressed the need to withdraw all foreign troops and all …

Read More »

Foreign Minister meets with his counterpart in Vilnius

  The migration crisis is “a European challenge”     Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, recently travelled to Vilnius where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Gabrielius Landsbergis. The reception for Minister Dendias, on his first visit to the Lithuanian capital, was made in a cordial atmosphere by the …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - NOVEMBER 2018

US Senators affirm US-GREECE strategic relationship

  Marking the strategic nature of Greek-American relations, the deepening of Greek-US defence cooperation and the role of Greece as a pillar of stability and peace in the wider region through the new architecture of alliances.     US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, …

Read More »