WASHINGTON (ANA/ P. Kasfikis) Meeting United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias briefed the UN Secretary General about the great difficulties and grave risks faced by the ethnic Greek minority in Mariupol, asking him for the UN’s assistance in this regard.
“Our resources are extremely limited. They come principally from ‘Caritas’, the Catholic Church organisation and from various private individuals with which we are trying to contact on the phone. The situation is extremely difficult. As you know there was also a strike on the Mariupol theatre, 1200 people were in the basement of that theatre. We do not know how many casualties there were. The situation as it was described to us, however, is exceedingly tragic,” Dendias commented after the meeting on Friday.
He also referred to the diplomatic initiatives that are underway to reach a settlement of the conflict in Ukraine, saying he had an opportunity to discuss these with the UN Secretary General.
“Many efforts are being made by all sides to end the Russian invasion and restore a situation where human life and human rights are protected. I cannot, however, give you an estimate,” he said.
The minister also made the following statement to reporters:
“I had the pleasure of meeting the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres.
We had a long discussion. First of all, we discussed, of course, the developments in Ukraine, and I had the opportunity to brief him on the extreme difficulties, the incredible risks that the Diaspora Greeks are facing in this region. I asked him to offer his good offices in order to safeguard, as much as possible, the lives and property of these people.
Beyond that, as you understand, we discussed the Cyprus issue, relations with Turkey, Libya, and I had the opportunity to brief him on the three Greek candidacies, I repeat, three candidacies.
First of all, as you already know, our candidacy for the UN Security Council, our candidacy for the Presidency of the United Nations General Assembly in 2035, but also the candidacy, which we will announce immediately after this visit, for the UN Human Rights Council for the 2028-30 term.
Greece believes in the United Nations Charter and seeks to participate in the most active way in the application of the principles contained in the Charter, namely the principles of International Law and the International Law of the Sea.
And one last thing: immediately after leaving the Secretary-General’s office, I had the opportunity to speak with and welcome our Consul General in Mariupol, Mr. Manolis Androulakis. To warmly thank him for his services, his self-sacrifice in the effort to protect the Diaspora Greeks.
I will be very happy to see him as soon as I return to Athens, but nevertheless I told him what I said in the Hellenic Parliament: that we are particularly proud of him.”