ATHENS – In a move aimed at countering Turkey’s growing diplomatic presence, Greece wants to build closer relations with African countries, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias starting with Ghana and Gabon, after Rwanda.
They will be non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council during the period 2022-23 and he was sent there by the New Democracy government on the urging of France, which has ties in Africa and has become a military ally of Greece.
Ghana and Gabon, which Dendias will visit tonight, are the next leg of his African tour, after Rwanda, where he will meet Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey and visit a Greek school and St. Nicholas Church near the capital, Accra. In Gabon he will meet with Foreign Minister Pacome Moubelet-Boubeya.
Diplomatic sources not named told the newspaper Ghana and Gabon were important choices because Greece is a candidate for the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member in 2025-26.
The council has only five permanent members: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States and is charged with trying to keep international security but has largely failed to do so.
In the last six months, Dendias has met his counterparts from 11 of the 15 members of the Security Council in 2022-25.
In what was called vaccine diplomacy during the COVID-19 pandemic, Greece will donate 150,000 shots to Ghana and 200,000 to Gabon.