Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias, before his meeting with Bundestag MP & SPD Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Nils Schmid (Athens, 16.06.2021)

If I remember well, we have met in Berlin. It was last year. And thank you for visiting us within the COVID restrictions. This is a great opportunity to meet and discuss with you, and also give you the right signal that we are getting out of this sort of COVID crisis. And there is a bubble within the EU in which we can communicate. So, this is also the right signal.

I have to tell you that for us we will never forget your party – you represent a historic party – nobody can ever forget really that. And we, Greeks, can never forget the help that Helmut Schmidt and Willy Brandt gave to Konstantinos Karamanlis in our accession process.

And I have to say openly that if it was not for Helmut Schmidt and his understanding, Greece would not have become a member of the EU in 1981. So we hold very dearly the memory of our gratitude to you for that period.

Having said that, of course, every coin has two sides. I cannot but express our profound disappointment on the role of the SPD on the draft motions for the arms embargo on Turkey. As you know, both Prime Minister Mitsotakis and myself have numerous times spoken to almost everybody in Germany about the necessity to keep the balance in the Aegean.

And this is something that for us is a source of considerable concern. But we can discuss this in more detail.

Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis’ interview on REAL FM 97.8 radio station with journalist N. Chatzinikolaou – Main points (Athens, 15.06.2021)

“It is positive to see Turkey come closer to the West,” noted Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis in an interview on REAL FM 97.8 with journalist Nikos Chatzinikolaou on the occasion of the NATO Summit. In fact, as he pointed out, if Turkey returns to this path of rapprochement within the broader Western alliance, then that would be a positive development, as long as it is not only in terms of rhetoric, but also in terms of respect for the principles enshrined in International Law and human rights, which govern relations among countries of the western world.

As regards the meeting of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the Summit, Mr. Varvitsiotis noted that it has contributed to the creation of a calm climate, adding that further on “it is important to build this relationship in terms of mutual trust, whereas it cannot be built when there are actions in the field which cause insecurity in the Southeastern Mediterranean”. The Alternate Minister also underscored that “the fact that we are discussing today should probably be assessed positively”, however, he made it clear that “Greece has not made concessions or retreat regarding our national rights”.

Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis meets with Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel (Athens, 15.06.2021)

Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis had a meeting today with Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Mr. Rolf Wenzel, who is visiting our country.

Mr. Varvitsiotis thanked Mr. Wenzel for the important social role the bank plays through financing and the technical expertise it offers in projects with high social impact for the Member States.

The Alternate Minister also expressed the satisfaction of Greece that the Bank operates again in our country, through skill enhancement programs aimed at protection and alleviating human suffering against natural disasters, but also through loans to address the effects of the pandemic and strengthening entrepreneurship in areas of Central Greece.

Finally, Mr. Varvitsiotis reiterated that Greece, during its recent Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, focused on the impact of the pandemic and, through the Athens Declaration, established a set of principles for the respect of Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law in times of pandemic.

The Executive Secretary Of IGAD, H.E. Workneh Gebeyehu,PhD,Held Brief Talks With Senior Officials Of Varisities In Khartoum

(KHARTOUM, Sudan): During his Official Visit to Government of Sudan in Khartoum, 7-9 June 2021, the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), H.E. Workneh Gebeyehu, PhD, held a brief meeting with Vice Chancellors of two major universities in Khartoum: Prof Fadwa Taha, University of Khartoum and Prof. Hunud Abia Kadouf, International University of Africa. The Meeting was also attended, among others, by Mme Fathia Alwan, Director of IGAD Health and Social Development Division, Dr. Osman Bilail, IGAD Head of Mission in Khartoum, Mr. Tadjadine Bechir Niam, Director of External Relations and Graduate Affairs, International University of Africa, Mr. Phillip Gathungu, IGAD, Ambassador Ismail Wais, PhD, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, Dr. Elduma Mohamed, IGAD; and Kebede Kassa Tsegaye, PhD, Senior Coordinator, IGAD Education Program.
The two universities have signed recently Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for partnership and collaboration with IGAD. Moreover, Prof Taha is current Chairperson of the Board of IGAD Council of Higher Education (ICHE) established at the First IGAD Universities Forum held on 5-6 April 2021 at Jigjiga University. The International University of Africa (IUA) and IGAD was the first University to offer 200 scholarship opportunities for students from the IGAD region with special focus on students from refugees, returnees and host communities.
During the meeting, the Executive Secretary commended the universities for their commitment to promote regional integration through higher education. Both sides agreed to strengthen partnerships in key areas of concern for the region, including agriculture and food security, the role of universities in conflict prevention, peacebuilding and conflict resolution, among others.
Consultation will continue on these and other issues, including the possibility of organizing regional conferences on themes related to the above areas.

Source: Intergovernmental Authority on Development

DIAB RECEIVES FORMER EGYPTIAN MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT

Caretaker Prime Minister, Dr. Hassan Diab, in the morning received at the Grand Serail, the former Egyptian Minister of Environment, Kamel Mustafa, accompanied by several members of the Basel Regional Center for Asia and North Africa, in the presence of Higher Relief Commission Head, Major General Mohamed Khair.
The meeting deliberated on environmental and developmental projects that would be conducted in Lebanon via Basel Regional Center.

Source: NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY