Gerapetritis: ‘Hoping for Specific Results’ in Time for Greek-Turkish Supreme Council in Thessaloniki

September 22, 2023

NEW YORK – The multifarious presence of the Greek delegation in the 78th United Nations General Assembly meeting had a primary goal, to promote Greece’s candidacy as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2025-2026 term, Foreign Affairs Minister George Gerapetritis said on Thursday.

In statements reviewing the contacts the delegation headed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis made, Gerapetritis said that the goal led to several multilevel, regional, and bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to promote Greece’s positions and its candidancy.

The Greek foreign minister underlined the key meeting between Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and that between the two countries’ delegations. The aim is to have come to agreements ready for signing at the December 7 meeting of the Supreme Council of Greece-Turkiye Collaboration in Thessaloniki, he said, involving a positive agenda and confidence-building measures that will benefit the region and help expand wider collaborations.

In addition, he emphasized the role of multilateral regional collaboration groups through which Greece could extend its diplomatic footprint from the Balkans to the East Mediterranean and the Middle East, including “a series of key meetings at regional level such the Western Balkans, where we had the opportunity to participate in a quadrilateral meeting with Bulgaria, Romania, and Croatia,” as well as the meeting of Southeast Europe. “Greece always remains a pioneer in activating all possible mechanisms for Western Balkan countries to join in the European Union, an accession process that must progress for the benefit and prosperity of the region and of Europe and for the peoples of Northeast European countries,” Gerapetritis said.

The Greek foreign minister also referred to meetings he had with high-level officials of international fora and organizations including the UN secretary general and the president of its General Assembly, and the secretary general of the Council of Europe. Greece also held bilateral meetings with over 20 countries from throughout the world, he added.

Gerapetritis made special reference to the Greek diaspora, calling it “Greece’s greatest lever of soft power.” Greece wants “to be close to the Greek diaspora, we want to utilize the Greek diaspora and bring it closer to the metropolis, at a level of continuing collaboration,” he said, adding that he had met with all hellenic organizations in the United States on Monday, including Cypriots abroad. The prime minister also had the opportunity to meet the Greek diaspora, he added, while it is key for Greece to show the diaspora that Greece stands by them at all times.

(ANA-MPA/P. Kasfikis)


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