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24th session of the Human Rights Council Interactive dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Friday, 13 September 2013

Statement by
The Permanent Representative of Greece
Ambassador Alexandros Alexandris
9 September 2013

Thank you Mr. President,
Greece aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.

Mme High Commissioner,

We wish to thank you for your work and your update to the Human Rights Council. We appreciate the fact that you are exercising your mandate in a very open and transparent way. In this context, we reiterate the importance of safeguarding the independence and impartiality of your mandate and of your Office.

Greece would like to strongly condemn any use of chemical weapons in Syria. We support a thorough, impartial and prompt investigation as well as the need to move forward on a diplomatic process along the lines of the Geneva II initiative in order to achieve a sustainable political solution.

Greece and Egypt are connected with strong, traditional and historic ties. The Vice President of the Greek Government and Foreign Minister, Mr. Evangelos Venizelos, visited Egypt last Thursday and affirmed that Greece stands by the Egyptian people and the Egyptian authorities, since it is our firm belief that stability in Egypt is of primary importance to the stability in the whole MENA and Mediterranean region.

Democracy, promotion and protection of human rights, including the protection of places of worship, as well as respect of international legality constitute, also, a top priority for us. Therefore, we deem extremely important the commitment of the Egyptian Government to the Roadmap, which was presented on the 20th of August. This will allow the country to restore democratic institutions through a new Constitution, hold elections, both at Presidential and Parliamentary level, as well as a referendum which will give the opportunity to the Egyptian people to approve the new legal framework and the new political identity of the country.  

Greece remains fully aware of its human rights obligations. The Greek Government and the Greek society consider every single incident of racist violence as a criminal act and an unacceptable insult to human dignity. The Government is currently implementing a number of measures such as registration of complaints, establishment of specialized police units, immediate prosecution and punishment of perpetrators, protection of victims, prevention of reoccurrence of such incidents and many others.

Please rest assured of our continued support for the valuable contribution of your Office to the protection of all human rights on the ground.

Thank you Mr. President

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