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Statement By Greek Minister Of Foreign Affairs After Meeting Of The Ministers Of Foreign Affairs “Philia Forum”

Statement by Greek minister of Foreign Affairs after meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs “Philia Forum”

Statement by the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias after the end of the meeting of the Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs “Philia Forum” – February 11, 2021 Ladies and gentlemen, dear fellow Ministers, it is a great honor for me to welcome you today to the “Friendship Forum”. Your presence here has an independent symbolism. With our meeting today we lay an
additional foundation for the consolidation of peace, friendship and prosperity in the wider region. From the Mediterranean to the Gulf. Today we had the opportunity to consider how we will serve this ambitious goal. First of all, we agreed to set up a regional co-operation network linking Mashreq with Europe. The Friendship Forum is a framework within which countries from these two regions can exchange views on common challenges. Such as, for example, tackling a pandemic that knows neither borders nor continents. But also other issues, such as Libya, such as Syria. At the same time, it is the background for the creation of synergies in various fields, such as economy, energy, transport, tourism, culture, education, civil protection, dialogue between religions. But to consolidate prosperity in the wider region, we need another key component, peace. Unfortunately, peace in our region is threatened daily by subversive and revisionist forces, which invoke not logic but irrationality. In order to achieve their goals, these forces carry out a number of illegal, but also irrational actions, such as the Turkish-Libyan memorandum. They threaten or use violence. They occupy territories of other states. They support extremist groups or extremist ideologies, they sponsor terrorism, they interfere in the internal affairs of other countries with the ultimate goal of overthrowing unfriendly governments in them. What unites us all here today is the condemnation of illegal acts, the condemnation of irrational acts, which undermine peace and security. Our goal is to create a bulwark against threats, violence, extremism, intolerance, distortion of religion, irrationality. This position stems from our common principles, which are none other than those contained in the Charter of the United Nations. That is, the good neighborhood, the peaceful settlement of disputes on the basis of international law. It is obviously no coincidence that all the countries here today have signed the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which is also known as customary law. And I would like to clarify that. We do not intend to create a defense alliance. The Forum is not directed against anyone. We extend a hand of friendship in all directions. Bar none. With only one basic condition. Respect for international law and the basic principles of international conduct. Dear colleagues, the ambition of our country, Greece, is to be a bridge between the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf and the Balkans and the rest of Europe. And at this point, I want to salute the courage and the vision and the tireless efforts of the countries represented here today to promote peace and prosperity in the region. We break the vicious cycle that lasts for years. We are trying and opening new paths of peace and cooperation. PortSEurope Note: Officially called the “Philia Forum – Building Friendship, Peace and Prosperity from the Mediterranean to the Gulf,” the name explicitly highlights the intentions of the forum – Philia, coming from the Greek word for friendship. Source: Government of Greece

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