Tuesday , July 23 2024

Greece and Poland defend fundamental principles during Minister’s visit to Poland



Solidarity among EU Partners is the answer


Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias visited Warsaw on October 5th where he met with top Polish officials including the Speaker of the Lower House, Elzbieta Witek, and participated in the ‘Warsaw Security Forum’, specifically in the panel on: ‘The Resilient Future – Europe: What kind of EU Response to the Global Challenges’.

A one-on-one meeting with Polish Foreign Minister, Zbigniew Rau, took place followed by a working lunch.

The discussions at the above meetings focused on issues of bilateral and regional interest, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, the situation in Libya, energy, as well as cooperation within the EU and NATO.

Minister Dendias focused on the war in Ukraine, relations with Turkey and reaffirmed the historic Greek-Polish relations in statements following his meeting with Polish counterpart, Zbigniew Rau. “We had a long discussion about forces of darkness that try to impose a new European order,” the Greek Minister said, “not based on common principles and values, such as International Law, but based on force and the threat of the use of force.”

“We discussed the on-going conflict in Ukraine following the Russian invasion. A conflict that has taken a turn for the worse following the illegal annexation of four Ukrainian provinces by Russia. Greece has condemned this act outrightly and has protested to the Russian side,” he added. “Our policy toward Ukraine is based on three principles: the fundamental principles of International Law, respect for the sovereignty and respect for the territorial integrity of all States, the prohibition of the use of force, the prohibition of the threat of use of force. I am so glad that Poland is adamant about upholding these principles,” he noted.

He made particular reference to Ukrainian cities with long historical ties to Greece such as Mariupol and Odessa. “We would like to help so as to ensure that the historic city centre of Odessa is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to create a cultural protection shield over it,” he said.

During his meeting he briefed Minister Rau of developments with Turkey and of the neighbouring country’s aggressive rhetoric. “Greece is not going to be deterred” or drag itself into a contest of words, he asserted. “We are content to see that the European Union, the US, Germany and our Egyptian friends have come out publicly to denounce Turkish practices,” the Greek Foreign Minister added, particularly after a new Turkey-Libyan memorandum signed recently. Both the previous and the recent ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ signed between the Government of Tripoli and Turkey are not only illegal, they are also null and void.

The two Ministers also discussed the issue of migration. In this respect, they condemned efforts to instrumentalise the plight of those seeking a better life. Both Poland and Greece have been victims of such ‘hybrid attacks’. In order to address them successfully, solidarity among EU partners is the answer.

Lastly, they discussed ways to enhance their bilateral relations, which are already at an excellent level. In this regard they addressed trade, investment, cooperation in the fields of tourism, renewable energy, etc.

Minister Dendias also invited Foreign Minister Rau to visit Greece after Poland completes its Chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Above from left: Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, pictured with the Speaker of the Lower House of the Republic of Poland, Elzbieta Witek; with his Polish counterpart, Minister Zbigniew Rau. Below: the Warsaw Security Forum.

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