Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias visited London on Tuesday (February 2nd), where he met with his British counterpart Dominic Raab and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for European Neighbourhood and the Americas Wendy Morton.
The visit, which was scheduled for two days due to restrictive measures related the pandemic, was trimmed down to one day according to diplomatic sources.
According to diplomatic sources, in his meetings the Greek Minister discussed the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, the bilateral relations between Greece and the United Kingdom in the post-Brexit era and the Cyprus issue, with the two countries serving as guarantors in Cyprus.
In his remarks following his meetings, Nikos Dendias stated that “the main topic of my current contacts was the creation of a framework for bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the post-Brexit era.”
According to the Greek Minister, the goal is to form a strategic partnership between the two countries compatible with Greece’s obligations as an EU Member State.
The Greek Minister underlined that he thoroughly briefed his interlocutors on the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, noting that “we expect the United Kingdom to contribute in its capacity as a Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council, but also with its significant potential in creating a framework in the Eastern Mediterranean for the implementation of the rules of international law, but also of UNCLOS. After all, the United Kingdom has endorsed UNCLOS.”
He continued that “taking into account that both Greece and Great Britain constitute guaranteeing powers, we discussed in detail the Cyprus issue, but also the informal forthcoming meeting which, as it seems, will take place next month. In this context, I reiterated the firm position of our country which is shared by Great Britain. The solution must be based on a bi-zonal bi-communal federation on the basis of the UN SC Resolutions and, of course, be compatible with European law.”
According to a British diplomatic source quoted by the Greek correspondent in the United Kingdom Isaac Karipidis, London is hoping the informal conference will lead to a new formal round of negotiations, describing the unconditional participation of all parties as “important”.
Regarding the diametrically opposed positions of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the solution model of the Cyprus issue, the same source stressed that the role of the United Nations is to identify and highlight the points of convergence which he stated “can be achieved through a demonstration of goodwill from both sides.” /ibna