FM Dendias on contacts at UN: ‘Greece must open its wings to the new reality’

Greece will keep its channels of communication with Turkey open, despite the fact that the neighboring country is acting without logic, Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias said on Monday, reviewing his trip to New York for the 76th UN General Assembly meetings.

“Greece must leave behind a stereotype of a Balkan-style Turkey-centric provincialism in its foreign policy,” he said, and “open its wings to the new reality,” investing in its current relationships and building new ones.

Dendias said he had 17 official and several unoffical meetings with counterparts of other countries, some bilateral and others multilateral, besides accompanying Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on his scheduled contacts.

Greece reached out to “countries that Greece does not traditionally maintain relationships” including countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America, he noted, “to open new channels of communication with countries that are active on the international stage, both as members of the UN Security Council and in general.” With particular countries like Angola, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana and Rwanda there was never any foreign ministry contact up to now, he said.

Contacts were also to boost Greece’s candidacy as non-permanent membership on the UN Security Council for 2025-2026, Dendias noted. Other topics included in talks involved climate change and the migration-refugee issue, the role of women in peace and security, free passage in shipping, and freedom of the press.

Dendias also spoke of his private meeting with US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, ahead of his visit to the United States on October 14 for the Greece-US Strategic Dialog and the Mutual Defence Cooperation Agreement.