According to diplomatic sources, on the first day of his participation in the 76th UN General Assembly, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had a series of bilateral contacts with his counterparts from countries with which there are no frequent contacts, which, however, play a role in international events.

First, he met with Gambian Foreign Minister Mohamed Tangara, who stressed the importance that our country attaches to the Sahel region. In this context, the accreditation of the Greek Ambassador to Senegal, and a special envoy for the Sahel region and the Gambia, was requested. The Foreign Minister also underlined on the one hand the growth dynamics of Africa, which has the potential to be the new economic driving force. On the other hand, he pointed out the challenges that may come from Africa, for Greece, but also for the rest of the European Union, such as immigration and terrorism.

For this reason, he stressed that strengthening relations with the countries of the region and increasing the European Union’s assistance is the only way. Finally, in the context of the fight against the pandemic, Mr. Dendias announced the supply of vaccines to the Gambia.

The above issues were also discussed with Gabonese Foreign Minister Pacome Moubelet Boubeya, a country that will be a member of the Security Council in 2022-23. Issues such as the effects of climate change on global security and Greece’s participation in the French-speaking world were also thoroughly examined. It is noted that the Foreign Minister also referred to the possibility of donating vaccines to Gabon, a proposal that was accepted very positively, as, as the Foreign Minister of Gabon stressed, it is the first proposal that his country accepts for donations of vaccines from a European country. Finally, there is a comment by the Gabonese Foreign Minister that African countries are open to cooperation with those countries that show relative interest.

The meeting with Costa Rican Foreign Minister Rodolfo Solano Quirós focused on the prospect of deepening bilateral relations with the accreditation of Ambassador in Athens. Also, the prospect of strengthening Greece’s relations with the Caribbean countries was discussed at length, both bilaterally and in a multilateral context (participation of Greece as an observer in regional organizations in the region). Both sides emphasized the commitment to International Maritime Law.

The meeting with the Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulidis was an opportunity to exchange views on the latest developments in both the Cyprus issue and the Eastern Mediterranean. Prospects for convening meetings in various multilateral groups, both with countries in the region and with the United States, were also discussed.

Finally, the Foreign Minister had a meeting with the President of the General Assembly and Foreign Minister of the Maldives Abdulla Shahid, where they discussed the effects of climate change and the pandemic, as well as the role of the UN in dealing with them. At the meeting, he also stressed the need to comply with international law, including the Law of the Sea, by all states, including Turkey. In this context, Mr. Dendias informed about the positions of our country, as well as about the Turkish delinquent behavior.

He noted meaningfully that, just opposite the United Nations building, the “Turkish house” was inaugurated today. He added, however, that Turkey, which is being “cut” for its image in the UN by the construction of an imposing building, continues to blatantly violate the UN Charter by launching a threat of war against Greece, if it enforces the legal right to expand of water.

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