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Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ statement following his meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides (Larnaca, 8 March 2021)
It is always a great pleasure – I have stopped counting, I have visited so many times – to be in Cyprus and see my friend and colleague Nikos Christodoulides. In fact, today is International Women’s Day, and I would like to take this opportunity to express my best wishes.
As the Minister already said, we had a broad discussion of all the issues. We talked about the meeting of the Council of Ministers on 22 March and the agenda, which includes issues related to Turkey. We talked about the upcoming five-party meeting and how we can lead things to a positive direction. We had a broad discussion about our collaboration, which is very close, continuous and sincere.
Allow me, Nikos, at this point, to say two things about my visit to Cairo today, after which I did not make any statements. Before coming to Larnaca today, I had the pleasure to meet my counterpart Sameh Shoukry in Cairo and we discussed the Greek-Egyptian relations, friendly relations, very close relations, that are based on the close personal relationship that has been created between the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the President Al Sisi of Egypt. I would also like to say that the issue created by the recent publication of exploration blocks by the Egyptian side in the Eastern Mediterranean is a purely technical one that concerns the Egyptian side. Based on the announcements by the Egyptian side, Greece considers this an issue that has essentially been resolved.
I also had the opportunity to meet with the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, with whom I discussed the latest meeting of the Arab League, what was discussed there, but mainly how Greece can develop its relations with the Arab League. As you know, Cyprus has the unique privilege of already being an observer country. Greece will begin the negotiation of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Arab League in order to develop its relations with the League as well.
Finally, I would like to say that it is a great pleasure to be in Cyprus again, but I await Nikos in Athens in the coming days so that we can continue our ongoing and close cooperation in the face of the major challenges and always in the hope that we can steer things towards a very positive outcome.
Nikos, thank you very much, once again, for the very warm hospitality.