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Politics

Dendias Meets with His Norwegian Counterpart Huitfeldt

February 16, 2022

ATHENS – Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias focused on investiments, shipping and green energy during his meeting with his Norwegian counterpart Anniken Huitfeldt, after being welcomed in Oslo on Wednesday.

Dendias also briefed Huitfeld extensively about recent statements by Turkish officials against Greece and about Turkey’s violations in the Aegean Sea. “On a daily basis, Turkish officials have begun a barrage of illegal and provocative statements against us,” he told Huitfeldt, stances that throw into question Turkey’s commitment to NATO’s fundamental values and principles.

“I am sorry to watch Turkey choose this exact moment – when there is a great need for NATO solidarity and a need to show to everyone we keep the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity (…) – to use words that challenge Greece’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Dendias said in statements during their meeting. Greece remains prepared to participate with Turkey in constructive dialog, he said, based on a single term – following the rules of International Right and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). “It cannot be a dialog without rules,” he underlined.

Among other issues the two foreign ministers discussed were the Ukraine crisis. Dendias informed Huitfeldt on his upcoming visit to Moscow on Friday, where he will meet his counterpart Sergey Lavrov, and said he planned to raise with him the issue of the Greek community in Mariupol (Mariopolis), for whose welfare Greece was “very concerned”.

Ties between Greece and Norway are based on shared values, the Greek minister noted, and both have a long-standing interest in shipping. In addition, as a green country, Norway could help Greece with its experience in green projects. “You are very friendly to the environment, and so are we,” he noted. “The government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is also a green government and we would very much like to work with you to protect the sea,” he added.

The visiting minister also thanked Huitfeldt for Norwegian experience in relations with Russia. “Your extensive knowledge about Russia and your contacts with it during the year comprise a very useful handbook to help us understand how one may collaborate with Russia,” he noted.

Dendias is accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Kostas Fragogiannis, whose presence “shows that our bilateral relations are very important to us,” he said.

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