Monday , September 20 2021

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - JULY-AUGUST 2021

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - JUNE 2021

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 - APRIL-MAY 2021

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 »

Greece-Libya: Re-launching bilateral relations

  A series of Official Visits have recently taken place between Greece and Libya focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction. A major highlight was the announcement by the Greek Foreign Minister of the resuming of operation of the …

Read More »

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Montenegro hold bilateral meetings

    “Greece supports European course of the Western Balkans”   “Greece has been firmly oriented, since the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003, toward supporting the European course of the Western Balkans,” President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said during her meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapić, …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - MARCH 2021

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 »

Greece-Libya: Re-launching bilateral relations

  A series of Official Visits have recently taken place between Greece and Libya focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction. A major highlight was the announcement by the Greek Foreign Minister of the resuming of operation of the …

Read More »

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Montenegro hold bilateral meetings

    “Greece supports European course of the Western Balkans”   “Greece has been firmly oriented, since the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003, toward supporting the European course of the Western Balkans,” President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said during her meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapić, …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - FEBRUARY 2021

5th Southeast Europe Energy Forum – September 10th 2021

      For the fifth year in a row the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and the Hellenic Association for Energy Economics, are organizing in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Greece and with the strategic partnership of the Atlantic Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce the 5th Southeast Europe Energy Forum on Friday, September 10, 2021, at the MET Hotel in Thessaloniki, …

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Arab – Hellenic Food Conference (e-edition) – 5th-6th October 2021

  The Arab-Greek Chamber receives the honor and pleasure to announce the organization of the first Arab-Greek Food Conference (in electronic form), with a final date of October 5th & 6th . We welcome the participation of the Greek business community in this first conference of the Arab-Greek Chamber dedicated exclusively to the food …

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Business Forum & B2B meetings Greece – Lithuania – 4th October 2021

INVITATION The Commercial and Industrial Chamber of Athens – ACCI , o  BSE and the Greek Investment Company and Foreign Trade Enterprise  Greece , will perform the Monday, October 4, 2021 at 10:00 , Business  Forum & B 2 B  meetings  Greece – Lithuania in ACCI (Academy 7 , 6 th floor). This event will be held in cooperation with the Embassy of Lithuania in Athens and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vilnius . The …

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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 …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - FEBRUARY 2021

5th Southeast Europe Energy Forum – September 10th 2021

      For the fifth year in a row the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and the Hellenic Association for Energy Economics, are organizing in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Greece and with the strategic partnership of the Atlantic Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce the 5th Southeast Europe Energy Forum on Friday, September 10, 2021, at the MET Hotel in Thessaloniki, …

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Arab – Hellenic Food Conference (e-edition) – 5th-6th October 2021

  The Arab-Greek Chamber receives the honor and pleasure to announce the organization of the first Arab-Greek Food Conference (in electronic form), with a final date of October 5th & 6th . We welcome the participation of the Greek business community in this first conference of the Arab-Greek Chamber dedicated exclusively to the food …

Read More »

Business Forum & B2B meetings Greece – Lithuania – 4th October 2021

INVITATION The Commercial and Industrial Chamber of Athens – ACCI , o  BSE and the Greek Investment Company and Foreign Trade Enterprise  Greece , will perform the Monday, October 4, 2021 at 10:00 , Business  Forum & B 2 B  meetings  Greece – Lithuania in ACCI (Academy 7 , 6 th floor). This event will be held in cooperation with the Embassy of Lithuania in Athens and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vilnius . The …

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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Olympia Forum: Empowering Cities & Regions – 20th-23rd October 2021

«Utilizing the Dynamics of the Cities and the Regions» More and more, international organisations, central governments and private companies learn to embrace the power of the local. Deconcentration of political power and economic activity is deemed crucial to unleash hidden economic and social potential, mitigate inequalities and strengthen social and …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - DECEMBER 2020

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 »

Greece-Libya: Re-launching bilateral relations

  A series of Official Visits have recently taken place between Greece and Libya focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction. A major highlight was the announcement by the Greek Foreign Minister of the resuming of operation of the …

Read More »

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Montenegro hold bilateral meetings

    “Greece supports European course of the Western Balkans”   “Greece has been firmly oriented, since the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003, toward supporting the European course of the Western Balkans,” President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said during her meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapić, …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - NOVEMBER 2020

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 »

Greece-Libya: Re-launching bilateral relations

  A series of Official Visits have recently taken place between Greece and Libya focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction. A major highlight was the announcement by the Greek Foreign Minister of the resuming of operation of the …

Read More »

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Montenegro hold bilateral meetings

    “Greece supports European course of the Western Balkans”   “Greece has been firmly oriented, since the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003, toward supporting the European course of the Western Balkans,” President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said during her meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapić, …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - OCTOBER 2020

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 »

Greece-Libya: Re-launching bilateral relations

  A series of Official Visits have recently taken place between Greece and Libya focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction. A major highlight was the announcement by the Greek Foreign Minister of the resuming of operation of the …

Read More »

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Montenegro hold bilateral meetings

    “Greece supports European course of the Western Balkans”   “Greece has been firmly oriented, since the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003, toward supporting the European course of the Western Balkans,” President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said during her meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapić, …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - SEPTEMBER 2020

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 »

Greece-Libya: Re-launching bilateral relations

  A series of Official Visits have recently taken place between Greece and Libya focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction. A major highlight was the announcement by the Greek Foreign Minister of the resuming of operation of the …

Read More »

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Montenegro hold bilateral meetings

    “Greece supports European course of the Western Balkans”   “Greece has been firmly oriented, since the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003, toward supporting the European course of the Western Balkans,” President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said during her meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapić, …

Read More »

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - APRIL-MAY 2020

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 2020

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.

Greece-Libya: Re-launching bilateral relations

 

A series of Official Visits have recently taken place between Greece and Libya focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction. A major highlight was the announcement by the Greek Foreign Minister of the resuming of operation of the Greek Embassy in Tripoli and the General Consulate in Benghazi, a move which will further consolidate bilateral cooperation and strengthen relations between the neighbouring countries.

 

Prime Minister in Libya

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis recently paid an Official Visit to Libya which marked the relaunching of Greek-Libyan relations. He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, who underlined that “Libya is making the first steps in its return to normality and Greece will do whatever possible to support it. A necessary prerequisite for the return to normality is the withdrawal of all foreign troops and mercenaries.”  The Greek delegation also included Government Spokesman Aristotelia Peloni and top departmental Foreign Ministry officials – making this a most productive trip to the North African country. Athens believes that the resumed operation of the Greek Embassy in Tripoli and the General Consulate in Benghazi will significantly contribute to strengthening the two countries’ relations in all sectors.

As part of his itinerary, Premier Mitsotakis met with the Prime Minister of the provisional Government of National Unity (GNU), Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh and also had a meeting with the President of the Presidential Council of Libya, Mohamed al-Menfi, which was followed by broad deliberations between the two delegations. He visited the Greek Embassy in Tripoli which reopened after seven years of closure. At the same time, Foreign Minister Dendias met with his counterpart Najla al-Mangoush.

In his talks with the caretaker Prime Minister of Libya, Premier Mitsotakis called for the “cancellation of illegal documents that were presented as alleged transnational agreements but have no legal force, as explicitly ruled by the European Council”. “The European Union and its Members are here, and are determined to support the Libyan people, who have suffered so much in the last decade,” the Greek Prime Minister said. He also called for the immediate and complete withdrawal of foreign troops and mercenaries from Libyan territory.

The caretaker Premier of Libya (elections are scheduled for December 2021) said to Premier Mitsotakis that he is willing to form a committee to discuss the delimitation of the maritime zones starting from the point where the talks stopped in 2010. Libya’s caretaker Premier Dbeibeh has sent messages that he wants cooperation and the restoration of relations with Greece.

It is obvious that the transitional institutions are almost impossible to make big decisions and Athens knows that at this stage the demand for the cancellation of the illegal agreement will not succeed soon.

The effort made by Premier Mitsotakis and Minister Dendias was to persuade their Libyan partners to not make moves to activate the illegal Turkish-Libyan memorandum and at the same time to create the conditions for the resumption of the Greek-Libyan dialogue for the delimitation of the maritime zones from the point that was stopped in 2010.

Premier Mitsotakis also noted that the issue of maritime zones will affect not only Greek-Libyan relations, but also the North African country’s relations with the EU. He further referred to the multiple opportunities for economic cooperation between Greece and Libya and highlighted the importance of the defence bond between the two countries, recalling that “more than 280 Libyan officers have graduated in recent decades from the schools of the Hellenic Armed Forces.” He also noted that Libyan Coast Guard officials have also been trained in Greece.

 

Foreign Minister visits Benghazi

Several days later, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias returned to Libya visiting the Libyan city of Benghazi where he had successive meetings with Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Hussein Atiya Abdul Hafeez Al Qatrani, Benghazi Mayor Saqr Bujwari and the Speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh Issa.

The Greek head of diplomacy held talks with the Libyan officials focusing on bilateral relations and regional developments, as well as on matters relating to the imminent start of operations by the Greek Consulate General in the city.

Commenting on Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias’ visit to Libya, diplomatic sources said its aim was to drive home three key messages: the need to initially avoid any initiatives with respect to the illegal and void ‘Turkish-Libyan memorandum’ that could make Libya’s relations with Greece and the EU more difficult, that the Greek presence is more firmly established via the opening of a Greek Consulate General in Benghazi and Greece’s readiness to contribute to Libya’s restructuring. The response of Libyan authorities was positive to the three messages, the same sources said. Greece is one of the first countries that will reopen a consulate in Benghazi and the response of the Libyan officials was warm.

In all his meetings there, Minister Dendias referred to Greece’s readiness to assist in the holding and organisation of smooth elections and to the country’s restructuring, underlining the long presence and experience of Greek companies in Libya. Within this context he announced that Deputy Foreign Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis will visit Libya in the near future.

Minister Dendias’ visit to Libya one week after Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ visit was another opportunity to strengthen relations between the neighbouring countries, with the consolidation of bilateral cooperation and promotion of Greece’s fair and just positions as a guideline, the same sources added.

 

President of the Presidential Council of Libya in Athens

After the above visits, President of the Presidential Council of Libya, Mohamed al-Menfi paid a visit to Athens where he held a series of meetings with President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

Prime Minister Mitsotakis agreed with Presidential Council President al-Menfi on the immediate resumption of the Greek-Libyan talks on the delimitation of maritime zones, under the responsibility of the Foreign Ministers of both countries. The Prime Minister also stressed that a prerequisite for holding elections so that “the Libyan people themselves can take the country’s fate into their own hands” is the withdrawal of all troops from Libya.

He further welcomed the intentions of Libya’s President and Prime Minister “for Libya to discuss with Greece critical issues such as the delimitation of maritime zones”. He offered assurances that Greece is a nation that is friendly toward Libya, that the Greek people are friendly toward those of Libya and noted that relations between the two countries go back many centuries.

On his part, al-Menfi said that “our main concern has always been for Greece to become a gateway to the European Union”, while noting that Libya has so far “seen only good behaviour” on the part of Greece and the Greeks. Referring to historical relations between the two countries, he spoke of “a common history, between my country, Libya and Greece” and emphasised the development of relations with the European Union. “Even if, at some point, these relations went through some difficult times, this can be resolved through dialogue and I personally believe that the commonalities that unite us will help us to cope with any difficulties,” he said.

The Libyan President also referred to economic cooperation between the two countries and his term as Ambassador in Athens, during which, as he said, he sought to increase the presence of Greek companies in his country. At the same time, he thanked the Greek Government for the reopening of the Embassy in Tripoli and the reopening of the Consulate General in Benghazi, which, as he said, “actually reflects Greece’s desire to support Libya, to support the new Libyan Government.”

The Libyan President stressed that his visit is also an invitation to Greek companies to operate in Libya, given the stability that his country is currently experiencing. Concluding, he emphasised the importance of international support from the United Nations, from the EU, and expressed hope that Greece would continue its support in all international fora, so that Libya can hold elections at the end of the year; “for the departure and removal of all mercenaries currently in my country.”

During his audience with President Sakellaropoulou, she expressed Greece’s support for the leadership of Libya’s new Government, noting that with the election of the interim Government and the vote of confidence it received from the Libyan Parliament, Libya is entering a new era. “Relations between the countries on the shores of the Mediterranean, as well as of all neighbouring countries between them, should be governed by respect for International Law and especially the Law of the Sea and the principle of good neighbourliness,” she added.

The talks between Foreign Minister Dendias and President al-Menfi focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction.

 

Pictured above: the Official arrival ceremony of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Libya by Prime Minister of the provisional Government of National Unity, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh; Minister Dendias in Benghazi with Deputy Prime Minister Hussein Atiya Abdul Hafeez Al Qatrani; Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou in discussion with visiting President of the Presidential Council of Libya, Mohamed al-Menfi; President al-Menfi and his delegation in talks with Prime Minister Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

(Photos: D.Papamitsos, T.Bolari & H.Akriviadis/Eurokinissi.)

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Montenegro hold bilateral meetings

 

 

“Greece supports European course of the Western Balkans”

 

“Greece has been firmly oriented, since the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003, toward supporting the European course of the Western Balkans,” President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said during her meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapić, in Athens on May 13th.

 

President of the Republic

President Sakellaropoulou stressed that it is the only option available to ensure political stability, economic development and strong democratic institutions in the countries of the region. However, she noted that, in order to join the EU, it is necessary to meet the criteria that apply to all candidate countries.

On his part, Premier Krivokapić thanked the Greek President for Greece’s support of Montenegro’s European course and reiterated his Government’s readiness to work to expand bilateral relations.

He thanked the Greek Head of State for the invitation to take part in the sixth annual conference of the Delphi Economic Forum, which was organised under her auspices. He noted that the Forum is a good opportunity for European partners and the international community to confirm Montenegro’s firm commitment to European values that lead to full membership in the EU. The Prime Minister stressed that he would like the synergy felt in Greece to be present in Montenegro as well.

The two officials exchanged views on the European Union’s enlargement policy and the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. They agreed that cooperation between Member States and candidate countries is one of the key conditions for successfully tackling the epidemic.

Within that context, the Prime Minister expressed his gratitude for the donation of medical equipment worth almost half a million euros, which was delivered to Montenegro from Greece on 31st March 2021, through the common European reserve of medical equipment- RescEU.

Prime Minister

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed Greece’s unequivocal support to the European accession course of Western Balkan countries, at a meeting with Prime Minister of Montenegro Zdravko Krivokapić in Athens on May 14th. Moreover, the Greek Premier noted that the meeting served as a good opportunity to examine progress in their bilateral memorandum for providing technical assistance to Montenegro on its way to EU integration. Satisfaction was also expressed about bilateral cooperation at NATO level.

Premier Krivokapić expressed appreciation for the technical collaboration because Greece understands the Western Balkans and has been on the path to accession itself. The area has gone through turbulence that left its mark on economic growth he said, highlighting economic development as the priority of his Government and as a way of balancing out “domestic conflicting elements,” as he said. The Montenegrin Premier concluded by saying that as far as the coronavirus pandemic is concerned, both Greece and Montenegro have taken all necessary measures to “have a good tourism season ahead.”

 

Parliament President

The President of the Hellenic Parliament Constantine Tassoulas welcomed the visiting Montenegrin Prime Minister to the Parliament. During their meeting Speaker Tassoulas stressed that Montenegro has made significant efforts to adapt to the European institutions and is therefore in the first line of Balkan countries moving towards the EU.

Prime Minister Krivokapić, inter alia, said: “We do not ask for anything from anyone, we just ask for understanding. The only goal of the Government is for us to be the first next new EU Member State.”

Present at the meeting was also the Chairman of the Montenegro-Greece Parliamentary Friendship Group Vasileios Oikonomou, the Diplomatic Advisor of the Parliament, Ambassador Constantine Economides and the Ambassador of Montenegro in Greece Ana Vukadinović.

 

Archbishop

Premier Krivokapić was also received by Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos. He informed His Beatitude about the status of religious communities in Montenegro and said that the Government of Montenegro is determined to continue to guarantee respect for basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to freedom of religion.

“Your country has given this world great and prominent figures, both throughout history and in modern times, figures who have revived, nurtured and preserved the Orthodox tradition. I want to express the special feelings and brotherly love that the Greek people have for you and your country,” said Archbishop Ieronymos.

Archbishop Ieronymos pointed to the great cooperation between the State and the Church in Greece, adding that the Hellenic Republic is a Member of the EU and that he is happy that Montenegro is following that path.

Minister of Economic Development and Tourism Jakov Milatović and Minister of Finance and Social Welfare Milojko Spajić also attended the meeting.

Premier Krivokapić with Honorary Consul of Montenegro in Thessaloniki and Managing Director of the Athens Medical Group, Dr. Vassilis Apostolopoulos.

 

Foreign Minister of Montenegro visits Athens

 

Friendly and allied relations between the Hellenic Republic and Montenegro are based on intensive political dialogue and substantive cooperation, as well as a firm determination to strengthen their economic ties as was ascertained during a meeting of Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias and visiting Foreign Minister Đorđe Radulović, who was here at the end of April.

Minister Dendias pointed out that “bilateral relations and cooperation on economy and energy, regional developments with particular focus on the Western Balkans EU perspective,” was on the agenda of the meeting. He said that Greece supports the European perspective of Montenegro and praised the Montenegrin Government for the reforms in the areas of the rule of law and the fight against corruption.

Minister Radulović said that Greece is a proven partner and close neighbour, as well as a promoter of the European perspective, which is reflected in the continuous political and expert support to Montenegro.

It was jointly assessed that meaningful bilateral relations should be strengthened with new modalities of cooperation in the areas of energy, transport, tourism, defence, infrastructure and agriculture. On that line, satisfaction was expressed on the occasion of the planned opening of the Montenegrin Consulate in Greece, in Thessaloniki, headed by the Honorary Consul, Dr. Vassilis Apostolopoulos , which will contribute to the further intensification of economic and cultural cooperation.

 

Minister of National Defence, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, also met with Minister Radulović. The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Minister of National Defence, Alkiviadis Stefanis, and the Chief of Hellenic National Defence General Staff, General Konstantinos Floros. Matters discussed during the meeting included bilateral cooperation, also within the framework of NATO, and the recent developments in the broader region.

The Chairman of the Standing Committee on National Defence and Foreign Affairs, Konstantinos Gioulekas, then met with the Minister Radulović within the framework of the Minister’s official visit to Greece. During the meeting, Mr. Gioulekas confirmed the firm will of Greece for the rapid integration of the Western Balkans in the EU adding that the New Enlargement Methodology will contribute to deepening and strengthening the enlargement process.

On his part, Minister Radulović underlined the importance that Montenegro attaches to the support Greece provides on Montenegro’s path toward EU accession and expressed his country’s intention to further strengthen the ties of friendship with Greece.

 

First row: Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapić, pictured during his meetings with President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou; Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis; Hellenic Parliament President Constantine Tassoulas; with Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos; addressing members of the press during his visit to Athens in April, Montenegrin Foreign Minister Đorđe Radulović and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias; the two delegations in conference; Foreign Minister of Montenegro, Đorđe Radulović, pictured during his meetings with Minister of National Defence, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, Deputy Minister Alkiviadis Stefanis and the Chief of Hellenic National Defence General Staff, General Konstantinos Floros; with Chairman of the Standing Committee on National Defence and Foreign Affairs, Konstantinos Gioulekas.

(Photos: S.Dimitropoulos, M.Karayiannis, F.Kanellidou & Y.Panagopoulos/Eurokinissi.)

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - FEBRUARY 2020

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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Greece-Libya: Re-launching bilateral relations

  A series of Official Visits have recently taken place between Greece and Libya focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction. A major highlight was the announcement by the Greek Foreign Minister of the resuming of operation of the …

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Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Montenegro hold bilateral meetings

    “Greece supports European course of the Western Balkans”   “Greece has been firmly oriented, since the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003, toward supporting the European course of the Western Balkans,” President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said during her meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapić, …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - JANUARY 2020

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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Greece-Libya: Re-launching bilateral relations

  A series of Official Visits have recently taken place between Greece and Libya focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction. A major highlight was the announcement by the Greek Foreign Minister of the resuming of operation of the …

Read More »

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Montenegro hold bilateral meetings

    “Greece supports European course of the Western Balkans”   “Greece has been firmly oriented, since the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003, toward supporting the European course of the Western Balkans,” President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said during her meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapić, …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - DECEMBER 2019

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 »

Greece-Libya: Re-launching bilateral relations

  A series of Official Visits have recently taken place between Greece and Libya focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction. A major highlight was the announcement by the Greek Foreign Minister of the resuming of operation of the …

Read More »

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Montenegro hold bilateral meetings

    “Greece supports European course of the Western Balkans”   “Greece has been firmly oriented, since the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003, toward supporting the European course of the Western Balkans,” President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said during her meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapić, …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - NOVEMBER 2019

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 »

Greece-Libya: Re-launching bilateral relations

  A series of Official Visits have recently taken place between Greece and Libya focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction. A major highlight was the announcement by the Greek Foreign Minister of the resuming of operation of the …

Read More »

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Montenegro hold bilateral meetings

    “Greece supports European course of the Western Balkans”   “Greece has been firmly oriented, since the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003, toward supporting the European course of the Western Balkans,” President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said during her meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapić, …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - OCTOBER 2019

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.

Greece-Libya: Re-launching bilateral relations

 

A series of Official Visits have recently taken place between Greece and Libya focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction. A major highlight was the announcement by the Greek Foreign Minister of the resuming of operation of the Greek Embassy in Tripoli and the General Consulate in Benghazi, a move which will further consolidate bilateral cooperation and strengthen relations between the neighbouring countries.

 

Prime Minister in Libya

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis recently paid an Official Visit to Libya which marked the relaunching of Greek-Libyan relations. He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, who underlined that “Libya is making the first steps in its return to normality and Greece will do whatever possible to support it. A necessary prerequisite for the return to normality is the withdrawal of all foreign troops and mercenaries.”  The Greek delegation also included Government Spokesman Aristotelia Peloni and top departmental Foreign Ministry officials – making this a most productive trip to the North African country. Athens believes that the resumed operation of the Greek Embassy in Tripoli and the General Consulate in Benghazi will significantly contribute to strengthening the two countries’ relations in all sectors.

As part of his itinerary, Premier Mitsotakis met with the Prime Minister of the provisional Government of National Unity (GNU), Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh and also had a meeting with the President of the Presidential Council of Libya, Mohamed al-Menfi, which was followed by broad deliberations between the two delegations. He visited the Greek Embassy in Tripoli which reopened after seven years of closure. At the same time, Foreign Minister Dendias met with his counterpart Najla al-Mangoush.

In his talks with the caretaker Prime Minister of Libya, Premier Mitsotakis called for the “cancellation of illegal documents that were presented as alleged transnational agreements but have no legal force, as explicitly ruled by the European Council”. “The European Union and its Members are here, and are determined to support the Libyan people, who have suffered so much in the last decade,” the Greek Prime Minister said. He also called for the immediate and complete withdrawal of foreign troops and mercenaries from Libyan territory.

The caretaker Premier of Libya (elections are scheduled for December 2021) said to Premier Mitsotakis that he is willing to form a committee to discuss the delimitation of the maritime zones starting from the point where the talks stopped in 2010. Libya’s caretaker Premier Dbeibeh has sent messages that he wants cooperation and the restoration of relations with Greece.

It is obvious that the transitional institutions are almost impossible to make big decisions and Athens knows that at this stage the demand for the cancellation of the illegal agreement will not succeed soon.

The effort made by Premier Mitsotakis and Minister Dendias was to persuade their Libyan partners to not make moves to activate the illegal Turkish-Libyan memorandum and at the same time to create the conditions for the resumption of the Greek-Libyan dialogue for the delimitation of the maritime zones from the point that was stopped in 2010.

Premier Mitsotakis also noted that the issue of maritime zones will affect not only Greek-Libyan relations, but also the North African country’s relations with the EU. He further referred to the multiple opportunities for economic cooperation between Greece and Libya and highlighted the importance of the defence bond between the two countries, recalling that “more than 280 Libyan officers have graduated in recent decades from the schools of the Hellenic Armed Forces.” He also noted that Libyan Coast Guard officials have also been trained in Greece.

 

Foreign Minister visits Benghazi

Several days later, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias returned to Libya visiting the Libyan city of Benghazi where he had successive meetings with Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Hussein Atiya Abdul Hafeez Al Qatrani, Benghazi Mayor Saqr Bujwari and the Speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh Issa.

The Greek head of diplomacy held talks with the Libyan officials focusing on bilateral relations and regional developments, as well as on matters relating to the imminent start of operations by the Greek Consulate General in the city.

Commenting on Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias’ visit to Libya, diplomatic sources said its aim was to drive home three key messages: the need to initially avoid any initiatives with respect to the illegal and void ‘Turkish-Libyan memorandum’ that could make Libya’s relations with Greece and the EU more difficult, that the Greek presence is more firmly established via the opening of a Greek Consulate General in Benghazi and Greece’s readiness to contribute to Libya’s restructuring. The response of Libyan authorities was positive to the three messages, the same sources said. Greece is one of the first countries that will reopen a consulate in Benghazi and the response of the Libyan officials was warm.

In all his meetings there, Minister Dendias referred to Greece’s readiness to assist in the holding and organisation of smooth elections and to the country’s restructuring, underlining the long presence and experience of Greek companies in Libya. Within this context he announced that Deputy Foreign Minister responsible for Economic Diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis will visit Libya in the near future.

Minister Dendias’ visit to Libya one week after Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ visit was another opportunity to strengthen relations between the neighbouring countries, with the consolidation of bilateral cooperation and promotion of Greece’s fair and just positions as a guideline, the same sources added.

 

President of the Presidential Council of Libya in Athens

After the above visits, President of the Presidential Council of Libya, Mohamed al-Menfi paid a visit to Athens where he held a series of meetings with President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

Prime Minister Mitsotakis agreed with Presidential Council President al-Menfi on the immediate resumption of the Greek-Libyan talks on the delimitation of maritime zones, under the responsibility of the Foreign Ministers of both countries. The Prime Minister also stressed that a prerequisite for holding elections so that “the Libyan people themselves can take the country’s fate into their own hands” is the withdrawal of all troops from Libya.

He further welcomed the intentions of Libya’s President and Prime Minister “for Libya to discuss with Greece critical issues such as the delimitation of maritime zones”. He offered assurances that Greece is a nation that is friendly toward Libya, that the Greek people are friendly toward those of Libya and noted that relations between the two countries go back many centuries.

On his part, al-Menfi said that “our main concern has always been for Greece to become a gateway to the European Union”, while noting that Libya has so far “seen only good behaviour” on the part of Greece and the Greeks. Referring to historical relations between the two countries, he spoke of “a common history, between my country, Libya and Greece” and emphasised the development of relations with the European Union. “Even if, at some point, these relations went through some difficult times, this can be resolved through dialogue and I personally believe that the commonalities that unite us will help us to cope with any difficulties,” he said.

The Libyan President also referred to economic cooperation between the two countries and his term as Ambassador in Athens, during which, as he said, he sought to increase the presence of Greek companies in his country. At the same time, he thanked the Greek Government for the reopening of the Embassy in Tripoli and the reopening of the Consulate General in Benghazi, which, as he said, “actually reflects Greece’s desire to support Libya, to support the new Libyan Government.”

The Libyan President stressed that his visit is also an invitation to Greek companies to operate in Libya, given the stability that his country is currently experiencing. Concluding, he emphasised the importance of international support from the United Nations, from the EU, and expressed hope that Greece would continue its support in all international fora, so that Libya can hold elections at the end of the year; “for the departure and removal of all mercenaries currently in my country.”

During his audience with President Sakellaropoulou, she expressed Greece’s support for the leadership of Libya’s new Government, noting that with the election of the interim Government and the vote of confidence it received from the Libyan Parliament, Libya is entering a new era. “Relations between the countries on the shores of the Mediterranean, as well as of all neighbouring countries between them, should be governed by respect for International Law and especially the Law of the Sea and the principle of good neighbourliness,” she added.

The talks between Foreign Minister Dendias and President al-Menfi focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction.

 

Pictured above: the Official arrival ceremony of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Libya by Prime Minister of the provisional Government of National Unity, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh; Minister Dendias in Benghazi with Deputy Prime Minister Hussein Atiya Abdul Hafeez Al Qatrani; Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou in discussion with visiting President of the Presidential Council of Libya, Mohamed al-Menfi; President al-Menfi and his delegation in talks with Prime Minister Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

(Photos: D.Papamitsos, T.Bolari & H.Akriviadis/Eurokinissi.)

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Montenegro hold bilateral meetings

 

 

“Greece supports European course of the Western Balkans”

 

“Greece has been firmly oriented, since the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003, toward supporting the European course of the Western Balkans,” President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said during her meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapić, in Athens on May 13th.

 

President of the Republic

President Sakellaropoulou stressed that it is the only option available to ensure political stability, economic development and strong democratic institutions in the countries of the region. However, she noted that, in order to join the EU, it is necessary to meet the criteria that apply to all candidate countries.

On his part, Premier Krivokapić thanked the Greek President for Greece’s support of Montenegro’s European course and reiterated his Government’s readiness to work to expand bilateral relations.

He thanked the Greek Head of State for the invitation to take part in the sixth annual conference of the Delphi Economic Forum, which was organised under her auspices. He noted that the Forum is a good opportunity for European partners and the international community to confirm Montenegro’s firm commitment to European values that lead to full membership in the EU. The Prime Minister stressed that he would like the synergy felt in Greece to be present in Montenegro as well.

The two officials exchanged views on the European Union’s enlargement policy and the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. They agreed that cooperation between Member States and candidate countries is one of the key conditions for successfully tackling the epidemic.

Within that context, the Prime Minister expressed his gratitude for the donation of medical equipment worth almost half a million euros, which was delivered to Montenegro from Greece on 31st March 2021, through the common European reserve of medical equipment- RescEU.

Prime Minister

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed Greece’s unequivocal support to the European accession course of Western Balkan countries, at a meeting with Prime Minister of Montenegro Zdravko Krivokapić in Athens on May 14th. Moreover, the Greek Premier noted that the meeting served as a good opportunity to examine progress in their bilateral memorandum for providing technical assistance to Montenegro on its way to EU integration. Satisfaction was also expressed about bilateral cooperation at NATO level.

Premier Krivokapić expressed appreciation for the technical collaboration because Greece understands the Western Balkans and has been on the path to accession itself. The area has gone through turbulence that left its mark on economic growth he said, highlighting economic development as the priority of his Government and as a way of balancing out “domestic conflicting elements,” as he said. The Montenegrin Premier concluded by saying that as far as the coronavirus pandemic is concerned, both Greece and Montenegro have taken all necessary measures to “have a good tourism season ahead.”

 

Parliament President

The President of the Hellenic Parliament Constantine Tassoulas welcomed the visiting Montenegrin Prime Minister to the Parliament. During their meeting Speaker Tassoulas stressed that Montenegro has made significant efforts to adapt to the European institutions and is therefore in the first line of Balkan countries moving towards the EU.

Prime Minister Krivokapić, inter alia, said: “We do not ask for anything from anyone, we just ask for understanding. The only goal of the Government is for us to be the first next new EU Member State.”

Present at the meeting was also the Chairman of the Montenegro-Greece Parliamentary Friendship Group Vasileios Oikonomou, the Diplomatic Advisor of the Parliament, Ambassador Constantine Economides and the Ambassador of Montenegro in Greece Ana Vukadinović.

 

Archbishop

Premier Krivokapić was also received by Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos. He informed His Beatitude about the status of religious communities in Montenegro and said that the Government of Montenegro is determined to continue to guarantee respect for basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to freedom of religion.

“Your country has given this world great and prominent figures, both throughout history and in modern times, figures who have revived, nurtured and preserved the Orthodox tradition. I want to express the special feelings and brotherly love that the Greek people have for you and your country,” said Archbishop Ieronymos.

Archbishop Ieronymos pointed to the great cooperation between the State and the Church in Greece, adding that the Hellenic Republic is a Member of the EU and that he is happy that Montenegro is following that path.

Minister of Economic Development and Tourism Jakov Milatović and Minister of Finance and Social Welfare Milojko Spajić also attended the meeting.

Premier Krivokapić with Honorary Consul of Montenegro in Thessaloniki and Managing Director of the Athens Medical Group, Dr. Vassilis Apostolopoulos.

 

Foreign Minister of Montenegro visits Athens

 

Friendly and allied relations between the Hellenic Republic and Montenegro are based on intensive political dialogue and substantive cooperation, as well as a firm determination to strengthen their economic ties as was ascertained during a meeting of Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias and visiting Foreign Minister Đorđe Radulović, who was here at the end of April.

Minister Dendias pointed out that “bilateral relations and cooperation on economy and energy, regional developments with particular focus on the Western Balkans EU perspective,” was on the agenda of the meeting. He said that Greece supports the European perspective of Montenegro and praised the Montenegrin Government for the reforms in the areas of the rule of law and the fight against corruption.

Minister Radulović said that Greece is a proven partner and close neighbour, as well as a promoter of the European perspective, which is reflected in the continuous political and expert support to Montenegro.

It was jointly assessed that meaningful bilateral relations should be strengthened with new modalities of cooperation in the areas of energy, transport, tourism, defence, infrastructure and agriculture. On that line, satisfaction was expressed on the occasion of the planned opening of the Montenegrin Consulate in Greece, in Thessaloniki, headed by the Honorary Consul, Dr. Vassilis Apostolopoulos , which will contribute to the further intensification of economic and cultural cooperation.

 

Minister of National Defence, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, also met with Minister Radulović. The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Minister of National Defence, Alkiviadis Stefanis, and the Chief of Hellenic National Defence General Staff, General Konstantinos Floros. Matters discussed during the meeting included bilateral cooperation, also within the framework of NATO, and the recent developments in the broader region.

The Chairman of the Standing Committee on National Defence and Foreign Affairs, Konstantinos Gioulekas, then met with the Minister Radulović within the framework of the Minister’s official visit to Greece. During the meeting, Mr. Gioulekas confirmed the firm will of Greece for the rapid integration of the Western Balkans in the EU adding that the New Enlargement Methodology will contribute to deepening and strengthening the enlargement process.

On his part, Minister Radulović underlined the importance that Montenegro attaches to the support Greece provides on Montenegro’s path toward EU accession and expressed his country’s intention to further strengthen the ties of friendship with Greece.

 

First row: Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapić, pictured during his meetings with President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou; Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis; Hellenic Parliament President Constantine Tassoulas; with Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos; addressing members of the press during his visit to Athens in April, Montenegrin Foreign Minister Đorđe Radulović and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias; the two delegations in conference; Foreign Minister of Montenegro, Đorđe Radulović, pictured during his meetings with Minister of National Defence, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, Deputy Minister Alkiviadis Stefanis and the Chief of Hellenic National Defence General Staff, General Konstantinos Floros; with Chairman of the Standing Committee on National Defence and Foreign Affairs, Konstantinos Gioulekas.

(Photos: S.Dimitropoulos, M.Karayiannis, F.Kanellidou & Y.Panagopoulos/Eurokinissi.)

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - SEPTEMBER 2019

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 …

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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 …

Read More »

Greece-Libya: Re-launching bilateral relations

  A series of Official Visits have recently taken place between Greece and Libya focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction. A major highlight was the announcement by the Greek Foreign Minister of the resuming of operation of the …

Read More »

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Montenegro hold bilateral meetings

    “Greece supports European course of the Western Balkans”   “Greece has been firmly oriented, since the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003, toward supporting the European course of the Western Balkans,” President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said during her meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapić, …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - JULY/AUGUST 2019

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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Greece-Libya: Re-launching bilateral relations

  A series of Official Visits have recently taken place between Greece and Libya focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction. A major highlight was the announcement by the Greek Foreign Minister of the resuming of operation of the …

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Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Montenegro hold bilateral meetings

    “Greece supports European course of the Western Balkans”   “Greece has been firmly oriented, since the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003, toward supporting the European course of the Western Balkans,” President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said during her meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapić, …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - JUNE 2019

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 …

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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 …

Read More »

Greece-Libya: Re-launching bilateral relations

  A series of Official Visits have recently taken place between Greece and Libya focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction. A major highlight was the announcement by the Greek Foreign Minister of the resuming of operation of the …

Read More »

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Montenegro hold bilateral meetings

    “Greece supports European course of the Western Balkans”   “Greece has been firmly oriented, since the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003, toward supporting the European course of the Western Balkans,” President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said during her meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapić, …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - MAY 2019

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 …

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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 …

Read More »

Greece-Libya: Re-launching bilateral relations

  A series of Official Visits have recently taken place between Greece and Libya focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction. A major highlight was the announcement by the Greek Foreign Minister of the resuming of operation of the …

Read More »

Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Montenegro hold bilateral meetings

    “Greece supports European course of the Western Balkans”   “Greece has been firmly oriented, since the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003, toward supporting the European course of the Western Balkans,” President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou said during her meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapić, …

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH - APRIL 2019

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 2019

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 2019

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 »

Greece-Libya: Re-launching bilateral relations

  A series of Official Visits have recently taken place between Greece and Libya focused on bilateral relations, the promotion of cooperation and regional developments, as well as Libya’s stabilisation and reconstruction. A major highlight was the announcement by the Greek Foreign Minister of the resuming of operation of the …

Read More »