Dendias Holds Series of Meetings on Sidelines of UN General Assembly

September 23, 2021

NEW YORK — Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias' continued a series of contacts held on the margins of the 76th UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday. Dendias had successive meetings with his counterparts from Armenia, Rwanda and Kyrgyzstan.

During the meeting with the Foreign Minister of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan, the Armenian side expressed its deep appreciation for Greece's support, especially under the difficult conditions prevailing in the region. The discussion focused on the development of bilateral relations in various fields, such as the economy and tourism, but, as expected, much of it focused on the sensitive situation prevailing in the Caucasus region.

The Greek side views with special interest a remark by Mirzoyan about Turkey during the meeting, namely that Turkey had played a catalytic role in the recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. He said that, in addition to the use of drones, Turkish officers had played a key role in coordinating the operations of the Azeri forces, while he also referred to an estimated 4,000 Turkish mercenaries transferred from Libya and Syria. According to the Armenian foreign minister, it is possible that at least some of these mercenaries have been left behind, acting as a source of instability for the wider region.

The meeting with Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta is considered important given the role that the country plays in Central Africa and in the International Francophonie Organisation (whose secretary general is from Rwanda) but also within the African Union. In this context, Dendias talked about Greece's candidacy for a seat on the Security Council in 2025-26. At the same time, the prospects of deepening cooperation in the economic field were examined, a point that is expected to be at the centre of Dendias' upcoming visit to Rwanda, a visit that is scheduled to take place before the end of the year.

The meeting with Kyrgyzstani Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbaev, the second between them since Dendias took office, focused primarily on the prospect of deepening bilateral relations, in view of the 30th anniversary since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 2022. Cooperation within the UN (Greek candidacy for the Security Council) was also discussed, as well as EU-Kyrgyzstan relations, where the Kyrgyzstan side asked for Greece's assistance in concluding the EU-Kyrgyzstan agreement. Developments in Afghanistan were also examined. It is noted that a large US base operates in Kyrgyzstan and that the Kyrgyz foreign minister had taken part in a meeting on Tuesday between the foreign ministers of Central Asian countries and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss Afghanistan.

Dendias met with Gulf Cooperation Council sec gen al Hajraf

The examination of the implementation of the Memorandum of Cooperation between Greece and the Gulf Cooperation Council was the focus of a meeting between Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Nayef Al Hajraf on Wednesday. The pact was signed during Dendias' visit to Riyadh last April.

The Kuwaiti official's reference to further strengthening existing cooperation was of particular interest, as he said that "Greece understands its region and culture better compared to other countries (of the European Union)".

The Secretary-General of the GCC expressed particular concern about developments in Afghanistan, noting the danger of the spread of extremist ideologies in other countries in the region, such as Iraq.

On his part, Dendias referred to the strengthening of the Greek presence in the Gulf region and in this context he made special reference to the development of an array of Patriot missile systems in Saudi Arabia.



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