Dendias: Mediterranean region will test EU’s willingness to be a global player

The Mediterranean is the region that will show “whether the European Union has decided or will decide to become a global player or remain a bystander,” Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias told a panel titled “Mediterranean: A Geostrategic Chessboard” on the second, closing day of the Bled Strategic Forum, held in Slovenia on Thursday.

The minister stressed there is “a change in the strategic architecture in the Mediterranean, as “cooperation is being strengthened among countries that share the same principles, such as International Law and the Law of the Sea.” But he also noted the need for new actors to enter the eastern Mediterranean, and cited India as an example of “countries that understand the concept of International Law the same way that we do.”

“Although Greece is rather a small-sized country, we did help North Macedonia and Albania, and as we speak a Greek aircraft is heading to Rwanda with coronavirus vaccines, and we shall send them to Tunisia and Kenya as well. Why? because we now know that if we don’t help each other, the pandemic will return,” Dendias said. “We must tackle common challenges as one humanity,” he stressed.

Earlier on Thursday, Dendias met with EU Commissioner for Neighborhood & Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi on the sidelines of the Gymnich Informal meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers (September 2-3) at the city of Kranj, also in Slovenia.