Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ statements following his meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, Ioannis Kasoulides (Nicosia, 28.07.2022)

Dear Minister,

My dear Giannakis,

It is a great pleasure for me to be in Nicosia today. It’s been a few months since my last visit, and a month since Prime Minister Mitsotakis’ visit.

And, of course, I’d like to thank you very much for the great honour of addressing earlier the Heads of the Republic of Cyprus’ Diplomatic Missions abroad.

The Greek Government remains fully committed to achieving a just and viable solution to the Cyprus issue; a solution based on the UN Security Council Resolutions; a solution compatible with the European acquis, namely a bicommunal, bizonal federation.

The resolution of the Cyprus issue in this context constitutes the highest priority of Greek foreign policy.

Thank you very much for giving me an update on the proposals for the Confidence Building Measures presented by President Anastasiades. Proposals that the President himself was kind enough to develop for me during our meeting this morning. We fully support these proposals, despite the Turkish Cypriot side’s expected, though regrettable, rejection.

We share your realistic approach regarding the prospects for the resumption of negotiations, which are, sadly, not promising.

And, of course, we reject and condemn any proposal of a ‘two-state solution’, which is being presented by Turkish officials and representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community.

Looking for a ray of optimism though, I would emphasize that the debate on the new text of the UN Security Council Resolution on the renewal of UNFICYP was held in a consensual atmosphere, despite the general polarization that prevails at the moment.

I want to assure you that we are always in constant and close coordination, particularly in the face of an attempt to create a new fait accompli both on the ground and at sea, in violation of International Law and the International Law of the Sea, the UNCLOS.

I recall that the relevant European Union decisions are in force and we expect Turkey to comply with them.

Apart from the Cyprus issue, we also had the opportunity to discuss the broader developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. I had the opportunity to report on Turkey’s provocative conduct, both in terms of rhetoric and on the ground.

However, our discussions are never limited to a single topic.

We also examined our cooperation within the European Union in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

And, as you rightfully pointed out, Ukraine and Cyprus are both cases of flagrant violation of International Law.

But that’s where the similarities end.

Because 48 years ago, the international community did not react to the invasion of Cyprus the way it should have reacted.

And we must keep in mind that the invasion and illegal occupation of territory in Ukraine is not the only example of invasion in Europe.

We must also not fail to underline that revisionism is no longer an acceptable practice, and it cannot be accepted even passively by the international community.

Both the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of Cyprus have taken a principled stance.

We both fully implement European sanctions despite the cost this entails for our societies.

Because for us, this decision is a one-way street. It is about our values and principles; it is about the values and principles that all states must adhere to.

We also discussed our cooperation in various areas; we discussed trilateral and multilateral schemes, the 3+1 format with the United States, our developing relations with India, and the European perspective of the Western Balkans.

We are both satisfied with the convening of the first intergovernmental conference with Albania and North Macedonia.

We are both very well aware that the pace of the region’s integration into the European family needs to be accelerated and we have been able to discuss how we can assist the Western Balkans to come closer to the EU. We can act as a catalyst in this regard.

I had the opportunity to give an update on what was discussed at the NATO Summit in Madrid.

I’d also like to state that, both within NATO and the framework of EU-NATO cooperation, Greece will ensure that Cyprus’ interests are fully safeguarded.

As the Minister said, I will conclude with what is obvious.

At all times, Greece will continue to stand by the Republic of Cyprus; Greece will continue to stand by the side of the Cypriot people.

Thank you very much for the hospitality and, if I may say so, the love that you show me every time I visit Cyprus.

JOURNALIST: Mr. Dendias, your Turkish counterpart intends to submit a letter to the United Nations regarding the Turkish positions. How will you respond to that?

N. DENDIAS: First of all, we will see what it is all about. Greece has actually responded.

The most recent Greek letter covers quite sufficiently the entirety of arguments. Greece does not intend to spend its time in a perpetual exchange of letters with Turkey. If, of course, the Turkish side raises a new argument that needs to be answered, it will be answered. But if I may say so, what needed to be said about these things, I believe, has already been stated.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias to visit France (Paris, 29.07. 2022)

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias will travel to Paris, tomorrow, Friday, July 29, 2022, to hold a meeting with Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, Catherine Colonna.

This will be the first meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Greece and France since the formation of a new government in France following legislative elections held in June.

Following the talks between the Foreign Ministers and their delegations, the two Ministers will make joint statements to the press at approximately 20:30 (EEST).

Discussions are expected to focus on further strengthening the Greece-France strategic partnership, on developments in the Eastern Mediterranean – in the light of the Minister’s visit to Cyprus (July 28), the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the new European Security Architecture, and the situation in the Western Balkans, as well as on developments in Libya and the Sahel region.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic

Adopting Resolution 2647 (2022), Security Council Extends Libya Support Mission’s Mandate for Three Months, as Speakers Voice Concerns about Short Renewals

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) for three months — until 31 October 2022 — as members underscored the urgent need to appoint a Mission Head to enable it to offer support to the country and debated the need to extend the mandate for a longer period of time.

Adopting resolution 2647 (2022) (to be issued as document S/RES/2647) by a vote of 12 in favour to none against, with three abstentions (Gabon, Ghana, Kenya), the Council reiterated its decision that UNSMIL should be led by a Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Tripoli and called on the Secretary-General to promptly appoint the same.

Through the text, the Council also called on the relevant Libyan institutions and authorities to implement confidence-building measures to create an environment conducive for successful presidential and parliamentary elections.

Further, the Council called on the parties to refrain from any actions that could undermine the political process or the 23 October 2020 ceasefire and, emphasizing that there can be no military solution in Libya, demanded full compliance by all Member States with the arms embargo imposed in 2011.

Additionally, the resolution requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on its implementation every 30 days.

Following the vote, the representatives of Ghana and Kenya stressed that, with another technical rollover, the Council has again failed to demonstrate its commitment to the Libyan people. Both recalled the frustrations of the Libyan people, conveyed by the country’s ambassador on 25 July, and emphasized that today’s result constitutes yet another disappointment. Further, Ghana’s representative pointed out that the Secretariat has repeatedly stated that short mandates are a disincentive to potential candidates for the Special Representative position.

The representative of the United Kingdom joined others in echoing the frustration of her African colleagues regarding the short three-month mandate. She said their abstentions from today’s vote were understandable, as the Russian Federation’s refusal to join consensus on proposals for a longer mandate goes against what Libya, the region and the United Nations requested.

However, countering that, the Russian Federation’s representative stressed that the adopted resolution was “the only possible compromise for all at this stage”. He also emphasized that it is not normal for UNSMIL “to be left decapitated for so long”, as this limits the tools as its disposal to support Libyan dialogue. The Mission’s mandate will be extended for a standard period of time after it has a Head, he said.

“While all red lights are on, the Council remains deaf,” stressed Gabon’s representative, pointing out that a short mandate renewal undermines the Council’s credibility and erodes confidence among States in the region. Highlighting the proliferation of arms and terrorist networks in the Sahel as proof that the situation in Libya has an impact on the region, she stressed that it is “high time” for the Council to end the short renewal cycle.

Also speaking were the representatives of the United Arab Emirates, China, Mexico, United States and Brazil.

The meeting began at 3:05 p.m. and ended at 3:33 p.m.

Statements

BARBARA WOODWARD (United Kingdom), welcoming the mandate renewal for the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), said that the text contains several important messages, including on political and security processes, the integrity of the National Oil Corporation and human rights. Particularly important is the clear message sent to Libyan parties on the need to agree on a pathway to deliver presidential and parliamentary elections as soon as possible. While she thanked Council members for their constructive engagement and support for the resolution’s substantive elements, she said that she shares the frustration of her African colleagues regarding the short three-month mandate. Their abstentions are understandable, given that the Russian Federation’s refusal to join consensus on proposals for a longer mandate goes against what Libya, the region and the United Nations requested. Insisting on a three-month rollover in the absence of a Special Representative of the Secretary-General is short-sighted and undermines the Mission’s ability to support Libyan leaders in their efforts to bring stability to the country, she stressed.

DMITRY POLYANSKIY (Russian Federation) said that the adopted resolution was “the only possible compromise for all at this stage”. Everyone understands that the current configuration of United Nations mediation efforts in Libya is unable to address the problem of Libyan settlement. He further emphasized that it is not normal for UNSMIL “to be left decapitated for so long”, as this limits the tools at its disposal to support Libyan dialogue. He called on the Secretary-General to submit for approval a worthy, authoritative candidate to head the Mission that will suit the Libyan actors and regional stakeholders. The text reiterates this urgent need, and UNSMIL requires a leader that enjoys the true trust of Libyans. He added that his country’s insistence on this matter stems solely from concerns for the effectiveness of United Nations efforts to promote settlement in Libya, and that the Mission’s mandate will be extended for a standard period of time after it has a Head.

MOHAMED ABUSHAHAB (United Arab Emirates) welcomed the extension of UNSMIL’s mandate, expressing hope that consensus can be reached in the future to renew the Mission’s mandate in the future for a longer period. This will enhance its efficiency and efficacy and enable it to build on the progress made in the Libyan-led and -owned political process. He stressed the need for UNSMIL to be able to fully implement its mandate and to develop its long-term strategy to support Libyan efforts seeking peace and stability. Also voicing hope that the Mission will resume its work under the leadership of a Special Representative of the Secretary-General as soon as possible in line with resolution 2629 (2022), he stressed the need for the Council to continue “speaking with one voice” to support Libya and realize the aspirations of its people.

LILLY STELLA NGYEMA NDONG (Gabon) said her country “had no other choice but to abstain,” recalling that Libya’s ambassador on 22 July drew attention to the Council’s ineffectiveness in resolving the crisis, especially after four technical three-month renewals. “While all red lights are on, the Council remains deaf,” she said, adding: “These short mandates undermine the credibility of the Security Council” and erode confidence among States in the region. She pointed to the proliferation of arms and terrorist networks in the Sahel as proof that the situation in Libya has an impact on the region, stressing that it is “high time” for the Council to end the short renewal cycle. She reiterated support for the swift designation of a Special Representative of the Secretary-General.

SOLOMON KORBIEH (Ghana), noting he abstained from the vote, said that with another technical rollover, the Council has again failed to demonstrate its commitment to the Libyan people. The Secretariat has repeatedly stated that short mandates are a disincentive to potential candidates for the Special Representative position. He also recalled the frustrations of the Libyan people which was “amply” demonstrated by Libya’s ambassador, pointing out that “he demanded action, rather than rhetoric from the Council.” A substantive mandate renewal would have sent a positive signal to Libyans. The Council’s failure to reach consensus on a nominee complicates the Libyan peace process, given the departure of the current Special Representative. He called on the Council to place the overall interests of Libya “above all else” and work with the Secretary-General to appoint the desired UNSMIL leadership. “The people of Libya are crying for elections,” he said. “This Council cannot let them down.” He encouraged Libyan authorities to hold Presidential and Parliamentary elections within the mandate cycle.

XING JISHENG (China) said the political process in Libya is in a critical phase. He voiced support for the continued mediation of the United Nations and thus voted for the resolution. Noting that the Special Representative position has been vacant for half a year, he said a prompt appointment is conducive to UNSMIL resuming its mandate. He supported an African candidate for that position, calling for accelerated progress in the selection and appointment. He said China also supported the inclusion of language on an inclusive national reconciliation process and welcomes the African Union’s support for it.

JUAN GÓMEZ ROBLEDO VERDUZCO (Mexico) said he voted in favour of the text so UNSMIL can continue to operate amid deteriorating conditions. In limiting the mandate to three months, “we are contributing to uncertainty at time when the Libyan people need certainty,” he said. He encouraged members to break the cycle, reiterating the importance of the United Nations presence in Libya as a way to re-channel the political process, reformed in line with the strategic review conducted in 2021.

MARTIN KIMANI (Kenya) said that on four occasions the Council has technically rolled over the UNSMIL mandate for three months, each time with Kenya expressing disappointment. However, even in such a diminished form, UNSMIL can still support Libya. He called for a one-year renewal and appointment of a Special Envoy from Africa. Recalling that Libya’s ambassador recently observed the frequency of Council meetings and lack of follow-up, he said today’s resolution — and its three-month mandate — constitutes yet another disappointment for the people of Libya. It is no longer tenable for UNSMIL to operate with such a brief mandate, he said, adding that Kenya’s abstention is a sign of its dissatisfaction with a damaging status quo.

LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD (United States) said that UNSMIL now has a more-substantive mandate that includes important language in support of the political process and ensures that Libyan oil revenue is managed transparently for the benefit of the Libyan people. Expressing disappointment, however, that the Council was again forced to accept a three-month mandate extension, she said that the Russian Federation’s specious contention that a three-month mandate will assist the Secretariat in securing full Council support for a nominee for Special Representative of the Secretary-General has proven false. Rather, such a short duration will only further complicate such efforts. Additionally, revisiting UNSMIL’s mandate every few months makes it harder for the Mission to implement long-term plans, to develop sustainable solutions to Libya’s challenges and to recruit the best candidate for the role. The Libyan people rely on UNSMIL, she added, emphasizing it is a disservice to them “to play games with the mandate”.

RONALDO COSTA FILHO (Brazil), Council President for July, spoke in his national capacity to welcome the renewal of UNSMIL’s mandate and the Council’s acknowledgement of the importance of peacebuilding efforts to Libya’s future. The building of institutions, security-sector reform and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration are all referenced in today’s resolution. He also recalled the that the Peacebuilding Commission can play a positive role in assisting with implementing peacebuilding priorities as well as with the renewal of UNSMIL’s mandate. The compromise duration of today’s renewal offers the Secretary-General and Council members the opportunity to appoint a suitable candidate as soon as possible, and he expressed hope that subsequent renewals will benefit from more-predictable timeframes. He added that, because regional dynamics should be considered, an African candidate for Special Representative of the Secretary-General would be well-suited for the position.

Source: United Nations

Secretary-General Appoints Abdou Abarry of Niger Special Representative for Central Africa, Head of United Nations Regional Office

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Abdou Abarry of Niger as his Special Representative for Central Africa and Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA).

Mr. Abarry succeeds François Louncény Fall of Guinea. The Secretary-General is grateful for Mr. Fall’s dedication and excellent leadership of UNOCA over the past five and a half years.

Mr. Abarry brings extensive experience in the areas of politics and diplomacy. He is currently serving as Permanent Representative of Niger to the United Nations in New York. Previously, he served as the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union and Head of the African Union Liaison Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2016-2019). Earlier, he headed the African Union’s Liaison Office to the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja, Nigeria (2014-2016).

Prior to that, Mr. Abarry served in various capacities in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Niger including as Director-General, Bilateral Relations, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2011-2014). He was Ambassador to Belgium (2003-2011), accredited concurrently to Greece, Luxembourg and the Netherlands as well as to the United Nations Offices in Geneva and Vienna, the European Union Commission and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States. From 1999 to 2003, he served as Diplomatic Adviser to the President and Director-General of State Protocol. Prior to that, he served as Counsellor at Niger’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York (1992-1997).

Mr. Abarry holds a master’s degree in international relations from the École supérieure d’administration et des carrières juridiques de Lomé, Togo, as well as a diploma from the International Relations Institute of Cameroon. He speaks French and English.

Source: United Nations

Secretary-General Appoints Denise Brown of Canada United Nations Resident Coordinator in Ukraine

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Denise Brown of Canada as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Ukraine, with the host Government’s approval. Ms. Brown takes up her post on 30 July. She will also serve as Humanitarian Coordinator.

Ms. Brown brings more than 25 years of experience in humanitarian affairs and recovery programmes, with a particular concentration on complex emergencies and a thematic focus on operations, programme development, coordination and interagency relations.

Since 2019, Ms. Brown served as Deputy Special Representative for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), and as United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator.

Prior to this, she worked at the World Food Programme (WFP) headquarters in Rome, first as Director of the Emergency Preparedness and Supportive Response Division and then as Director of Policy and Programmes.

From 2013 to 2016, Ms. Brown was WFP’s Director for West and Central Africa, based in Dakar, Senegal, serving 20 countries. She spent most of her career in the field with WFP, covering a range of situations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kenya, Niger, and Somalia. She has also worked with non-governmental organizations in Haiti and Cambodia. Ms. Brown has also served in New York.

Ms. Denise Brown holds a master’s degree in children’s development from Purdue University in the United States.

She is fluent in English and French.

Source: United Nations

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias to visit Cyprus (Nicosia, 28.07.2022)

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias will visit Cyprus tomorrow, Thursday, July 28, 2022.

Mr. Dendias is scheduled to be received by the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, and afterwards, he will attend and deliver a speech at the Meeting of the Heads of Cyprus’ Diplomatic Missions abroad.

Minister of Foreign Affairs will hold a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Ioannis Kasoulides at 13.00. Following the meeting, the two Ministers will make joint statements to the press at approximately 13:20.

Talks between the two Ministers will take place in the context of the two countries’ continuous cooperation and coordination.

They are expected to focus on developments in the Cyprus issue –in view of the upcoming new UN Security Council Resolution on the renewal of UNFICYP’s mandate– on the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, EU-related issues as well as on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

During his stay in Nicosia, Mr. Dendias will also hold separate, consecutive meetings with the presidential candidates Averof Neophytou (DISY candidate), Andreas Mavroyiannis (independent candidate supported by AKEL), and Nikos Christodoulides (independent candidate supported by DIKO and EDEK).

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hellenic Republic

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias to meet with Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, Annalena Baerbock (Athens, 29.07. 2022)

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias will hold a meeting with the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, Annalena Baerbock in Athens on Friday, June 29, 2022, in the context of the latter’s first visit to Greece (28-29 July 2022) since taking office.

The two Ministers will have a one-on-one meeting at 11:15, followed by expanded talks.

Afterwards, the Ministers will make joint statements to the press at approximately 12:45, followed by a working lunch between the two delegations.

Discussions between the two Foreign Ministers will cover all aspects of Greek-German relations, including pending issues. In addition, talks are expected to focus on developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the situation in the Western Balkans as well as on prospects for energy cooperation.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hellenic Republic

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ address at the Hand-over Ceremony of archival material of Dimitrios Bitsios (27.07.2022)

Dear Minister, Mr. Ambassador,

Dear Miltiadis,

Honorable Ambassador ad honorem, Mr. Bitsios,

General-Secretary,

Ladies and Gentlemen Ambassadors,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Allow me to begin by welcoming former Minister and Ambassador Petros Molyviatis, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to such familiar surroundings of his.

Mr. Molyviatis is a noble man of public life and a noble representative of Greece’s Diplomatic Service. It is a great pleasure to have him with us today.

With today’s ceremony, we officially welcome to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the late former Foreign Minister and Ambassador Ad Hon., Dimitrios Bitsios’ archive, which was handed over to us by his son, Konstantinos, himself an Ambassador, and I would like to thank him heartily for this offer. It is not a symbolic gesture. It will contribute significantly to the effort to document important events in our country’s modern diplomatic history.

Dimitrios Bitsios joined the Diplomatic Service in 1939, on the eve of World War II. After the war, he served at our Consulate General and Embassy in Cairo and at our Embassy in London until 1954. In 1955 – that is when the archive that was handed over to us begins- he served as a member of the Greek Delegation to the Tripartite Conference on the Cyprus issue.

He served as Greece’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations for the first time during 1961-1965 and then again between 1967 and 1972. Shortly afterwards, following the restoration of democracy in Greece, Konstantinos Karamanlis initially appointed him as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Government of National Unity and then as Minister of Foreign Affairs until the elections of 1977.

This archive contains personal letters and documents relating to foreign policy issues, namely the issues that Dimitrios Bitsios dealt with during his multifaceted career.

A small number of items from his personal archive are also included, especially after he left the Ministry, that is, after the elections of 1977.

In addition to his father’s archive, Konstantinos Bitsios was kind enough to offer archival material from his own personal archive, for which we also thank him, as well as 16 volumes from the family’s collection, the majority of which pertain to the minutes of Security Council and the United Nations General Assembly discussions on the Cyprus issue and have already been added to the collection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Library.

Once fully cataloged and organized, although it is being handed over to us in a very organized state, the archive will be made available to the Ministry’s services and, of course, will be digitized in its entirety, as part of the digitization process which we hope to have completed by the end of next year.

It will be extremely useful in conducting our foreign policy in a well-documented manner and allow me to use a personal experience of mine to demonstrate how important this is. In the context of the negotiation of the First Amendment Protocol to the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement with the United States, the so-called MDCA, we referred to the exchange of the Bitsios-Kissinger letters; and it was particularly helpful that Konstantinos was able to bring before we could get hold of them, copies of those letters, which constituted the element that enabled us to ask the United States, the then US Secretary of State, Mr. Pompeo to send a letter to Prime Minister Mitsotakis.

Of course, as part of this material, the contacts with our neighbor beyond the Aegean, the contacts that Dimitrios Bitsios had with his Turkish counterparts from time to time, are also of great interest. In general, it was an extraordinarily eventful period, albeit not always a pleasant one. It’s about Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus issue.

In addition to accepting this archive, I believe a broader gesture of recognition for Dimitrios Bitsios’ contribution is appropriate.

I, therefore, have the pleasure and honour to announce today that the Historical Archive’s Reading Room, where scholars interested in Greek diplomatic history can come and work, will be renamed the “Dimitrios Bitsios Reading Room”.

We are grateful to Dimitrios Bitsios for his service to his country and we warmly thank his son for the initiative. I would like to assure him that the material will be used to the best of our ability for the benefit of our country.

Thank you very much.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hellenic Republic