Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ statement to PARAPOLITIKA newspaper on the occasion of the signing of the Greece-France Strategic Partnership Agreement (Athens, 02.10.2021)

The agreement I signed in Paris a few days ago, together with the Minister of National Defence Nikos Panagiotopoulos, in the presence of the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is in itself a major success for Greek Foreign Policy.

And for me personally, it is the successful conclusion of a negotiation in which I had actively participated, since I assumed office two years ago.

Our goals remain the same: to ensure our national integrity, to uphold International Law, and to strengthen our foreign policy.

Our goals are served by a series of agreements which I have had the honour to sign: the recent agreement with France, the strategic agreement with the United Arab Emirates, the amendment of the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement with the United States two years ago and, I hope, with its new amendment in a few days which will further increase the geopolitical footprint of Greece, in the most beneficial way for our national interests.

They are also served by the agreements on the maritime zones with Egypt and Italy, as well as with the agreement with Albania tohave recourse to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The third objective, that is, strengthening our foreign policy, is achieved through deepening relations with our partners in Europe, the Balkans and the Middle East, through the expansion of horizons with non-traditional partners in Africa, America, and Asia, as well as through our active participation in multilateral organizations.

The recent agreement with France constitutes the latest piece to the puzzle of this architecture.

It shields the country from military threats; it is founded upon common values, such as International Law and especially International Law of the Sea, and strengthens Greece’s voice within the European Union, the UN, the Francophonie, and even NATO.

It may be too early to say whether this agreement constitutes a historic milestone. It is, however, certain that it offers an important opportunity for both the foreign and defence policy of Greece, which we must seize, with national solidarity, confidence in our country’s potential and commitment to the values we have always advocated.

Article by Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias in the newspaper “TA NEA” (02.10.2021)

The agreement I signed a few days ago in Paris, together with the Minister of National Defence Nikos Panagiotopoulos, in the presence of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the French President Emmanuel Macron, is the successful culmination of the negotiations that I started with my French counterpart immediately after assuming office two years ago.

This success is the result of a collective effort under the leadership of the Prime Minister. It is yet another major step in forging the long-standing alliance ties between our two countries, which are now becoming strategic in nature.

These ties can be traced back to the time of the Greek Revolution and more recently to the special relationship cultivated by Konstantinos Karamanlis first with General de Gaulle and then with Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.

The agreement offers our country three advantages that fundamentally improve the environment in which we are called to pursue our foreign policy.

First, Greece is shielded even further against any external military threat.

The mutual assistance clause indicates that if Greece is attacked on its territory by any opponent, then the strongest military force in the European Union, the only one with a nuclear deterrent, will be on our side.

The importance lies not only in assistance, but also in deterrence.

Any potential opponent of Greece will think twice before deciding to use force against it.

However, I must make it clear that this agreement is not directed against anyone. It is purely defensive in nature and comes to reinforce the similar agreement I signed a year ago with another strategic partner, the United Arab Emirates.

Second, the international status of Greece and our positions are strengthened with regard to addressing challenges in the wider region.

Through close cooperation in the field of foreign policy and regular coordination of positions between the two countries, starting from the Foreign Ministers, the positions of Greece acquire even greater prominence, as well as a different kind of power.

I must also recall that France is a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council and plays a pivotal role in the issues of Security and Defence Policy in the European Union.

Through this strategic relationship, Greece is upgrading its geostrategic position in the Mediterranean region, the Middle East, the Gulf, as well as sub-Saharan Africa, where France continues to maintain strong footholds.

Our country is therefore emerging as a potential bridge between these regions and Europe.

Thirdly, Greece, after a decade of introversion, is returning dynamically to building the European vision.

Greece is no longer the problematic country that threatens the European project. Instead, it contributes to the strengthening of European Defence and through it to the European integration policy, which has always been the goal and vision of New Democracy.

The agreement with France is an important step in the development of European Defence, in order for Europe to be able to successfully meet security challenges.

Europe cannot afford to remain a spectator in the face of threats against its values. Nor is the European Union merely an economic and bureaucratic partnership.

It is the largest project of a voluntary union of states in the history of humankind and in this light, the EU should be actively involved in international affairs.

At the same time, the Greece-France Agreement improves the burden sharing between the United States of America and Europe. It strengthens the transatlantic link, as well as the European pillar of NATO.

Therefore, the Greece-France agreement on establishing a strategic partnership is not merely another bilateral treaty between European partners. It is a significant agreement that will influence the shaping of our country’s future Foreign and Defence Policy. Ultimately, it is a piece of the puzzle of the Common European Vision.

United Nations Development Programme – Media Advisory

WHAT? High-level mission to Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, and Nigeria.

WHO? Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, United Nations Assistant-Secretary General, UNDP’s Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa

WHEN/WHERE?

Official visit to Cameroon: Saturday 02 October – Thursday 07 October 2021

Official visit to Nigeria: Thursday 07 October – Friday 15 October 2021

Official visit to Chad: Friday 15 October – Tuesday 19 October 2021

Official visit to Ghana: Tuesday 19 October – Saturday 23 October 2021

United Nations Assistant-Secretary General and UNDP’s Assistant Administrator and Regional Bureau for Africa Director Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa starts today an official mission to four West and Central African countries to further support governments and people of the region, particularly women and youth, in developing new paths towards a recovery from COVID-19 and breaking aid dependency.

In Cameroon, UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa Director will meet with H.E. Paul Biya, President of the Republic of Cameroon, and key ministers, and look at fostering youth empowerment. She will also participate as a keynote speaker to the 2021 Lake Chad Basin Governors Forum and discuss critical stabilization priorities in the four Lake Chad countries.

Travelling then to Nigeria, Ms. Eziakonwa aims at enhancing partnership opportunities for the post-COVID-19 landscape in Nigeria to help recover from the socio-economic fallout of the pandemic and accelerate attainment of the SDGs. The mission will strengthen the excellent relations already existing between UNDP and the Government of Nigeria at the highest level and at state and local levels, as well as enhance partnerships with the private sector, innovators and the creative industry. During her visit, she will also launch UNDP’s Accelerator Lab in Nigeria.

Ms. Eziakonwa’s visit to Chad at a critical time is a testimony of the importance UNDP gives to supporting key governance priorities during the transition period, , particularly the national dialogue. Meeting with the authorities the Regional Director will analyse current challenges and explore ways UNDP can support the transition process and help the people and the government scale up and accelerate investments in the SDGs.

Ending her mission in Ghana, UNDP’s Regional Bureau Director for Africa will launch the YouthConnekt Africa during which thousands of African youths will meet and exchange towards new and practical ideas and projects in support of development in their country and across Africa. YouthConnekt Africa (YCA) is an African home-grown solution positioned to provide relevant solutions for the global South and to support the implementation of relevant South-South initiatives to empower youth.

For more information and interview requests, please contact:

Eve Sabbagh, Strategic Communication Specialist, UNDP New York, eve.sabbagh@undp.org, +1-484-9045730

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at undp.org or follow @UNDP

Source: UN Development Programme

Algeria Recalls Ambassador To Paris Over French President’s Controversial Statements

ALGIERS – Algeria yesterday decided to recall its ambassador to France for consultations, over controversial statements by French President, Emmanuel Macron, earlier in the day.

“Algeria recalls its ambassador in Paris, Mohamed Antar-Daoud, for consultations, and a press release will be announced on the issue,” according a statement by the President’s Office.

It further noted that, “recalling Algerian ambassador to Paris comes in response to irresponsible statements attributed to French President Macron over Algeria.”

Algeria categorically rejects the statements of Macron which “constitute interference in its domestic affairs,” it added.

The French media said yesterday, Macron made some remarks during a short dialogue with a group of people, whose parents or grandparents fought with the French army, against Algerian revolutionists, during the Algerian war (1954-1962).

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Middle East and North Africa – Tracking Mobility Impact – Points of Entry Analysis | Mobility Restriction Dashboard #8 – September 2021

• Partial Restriction Measures are implemented at national level in 9 countries in the Region.
• There are 6 countries that are under National Emergency
• 90% of all PoEs are or partially or fully operational.
• Slight changes have been recorded in the operational status of PoEs in September 2021.

Source: International Organization for Migration