Nikos Dendias: Greece faces a national security problem from our NATO ally


Unity is a necessary factor for our national survival, the foreign minister underlined

The need to adapt Greek foreign policy to the constantly changing conditions, with a strategy that exudes confidence and self-confidence, with targeted actions, not banal findings, as well as for national unity, was underlined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, speaking at the exhibition “Gifts of Diplomacy: The Foreign Policy in the 21st century through objects of political symbolism”, which takes place today and tomorrow in Zappeion. Starting from the necessity of maintaining the “high achievement of national understanding”, Nikos Dendias proposed that unity is a necessary factor for our national survival. The conscription of Greek society is a necessary factor for national survival, as he mentioned and emphasized: “Greece does not have the luxury of other European countries. It faces a national security problem, even coming from our NATO ally. We don’t have the luxury of division.”

He also pointed out that a necessary parameter is not to accept the attempt to monopolize patriotism. “We as a society must ignore every cry of patriotism, every national populist flash of audacity” he said and added: “Remember the ethno-haters of the Golden Dawn. Neo-Nazis invoking national symbols next to the swastika.”

In this context, he said he was proud “of the significant strengthening of the acquis of the national consensus in the last three and a half years”, expressing his gratitude to the representatives of the opposition parties and the former foreign ministers. “The government’s longstanding obligation is to inform and consult with the other parties on foreign policy issues. It is also the duty of the opposition parties to discuss and advise the respective government on national issues. There are different approaches. There are always disagreements, but this does not allow the rupture front to break through the main lines of the foreign policy of a country like Greece. No one has the right to consider himself more patriotic than others,” he added.

Furthermore, the Foreign Minister outlined the international environment as “constantly changing”, underlining that the need to reposition Greek foreign policy in the face of new challenges is imperative. In particular, he urged “to realistically see the end of the era of doctrines, stereotypes, the old times, the Cold War and the two camps, to abandon any intellectual laziness, to escape from the perception of space and time created by globalization with the ideology of the “end of history”, to overcome the syndrome of a Greece phobic, enclosed, entrenched on the southern borders of the Balkan peninsula, to adapt to the challenges of the times, to implement a strategy that exudes self-confidence and confidence, with targeted actions, no with banal formulations”. As he noted, this does not mean reflection, but readjustment, with participation in the EU, the Eurozone, NATO, with an unwavering commitment to the implementation of international law and the law of the sea, but, at the same time, with active participation in the design of regional initiatives for peace and stability, with an upgraded geopolitical role in the Eastern Mediterranean, with the projection of soft power in the Western Balkans and beyond, with active participation in international organizations and forums, with the expansion of relations with countries from every continent, which share the same perceptions, values, principles and interests, with the expansion of the subject of diplomacy, mentioning for example economic, religious, cultural, sports, environmental diplomacy.

Summarizing, he proposed the need for Greece to create the conditions that strengthen it, diplomatically, militarily, economically, culturally, to form conditions that make it friendly, welcoming to new people and new ideas, tolerant, open to innovation, extroverted, modern, modern. “To build solid foundations for its permanent geopolitical upgrading. To make our homeland a proud European country, with a brilliant heritage, with a brilliant past, but above all with a brilliant future. A sparkling Greece” he urged, crystallizing his message.

He then spoke about the exhibition, stating that it is a first attempt to revive moments of diplomacy of the last 20 years or more. The basis was, as he noted, the objects that were in the warehouses of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or offered by the “ministers of foreign affairs of the 21st century”, whom he thanked warmly. He particularly focused on the photographic material and some gifts from Turkish officials, stressing that they highlight the efforts made from time to time for dialogue, but also Greece’s long-term commitment to it. He also pointed out that the material of the exhibition shows the development of strategic relations and alliances with countries in our region and the Arab world, the deepening of relations with Egypt and India, as well as the consistent presence of our country in international organizations , with successful presidencies in the EU in 2003 and 2014, and in the OSCE in 2009, but also the “openings beyond the known horizon”, especially in Asia and Africa, such as Gabon and Ghana.

The minister made special mention of the exhibit from his last visit to the capital of Ukraine, which is a section of a drone that struck Kyiv at the time he was there himself and as a memory of his joint stay with the Ukrainian foreign minister in the shelter, offered it to him. “This object shows the absurdity of war, but it also reminds us of our position on matters of principle and international legal order.”

Nikos Dendias made a special reference to the “unbreakable ties” between Greece and Cyprus, on the occasion of certain objects of the exhibition and underlined: “For Greece, Cyprus is not far away. Cyprus has never been far under democratic governments. And I would like to restore an injustice: This phrase was never said by Konstantinos Karamanlis, as it was sought to be attributed to him by Junta nostalgics”.

Forewording the exhibition, the head of Etiquette of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aglaia Balta, emphasized that it is the first time in the history of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that, covering a period of about 20 years, objects-gifts of diplomacy, which reflect specific moments in a forging of the Greek foreign policy, but also at the same time dealing with multiple challenges.

In addition to the relevant photographic material, the exhibition presents about 47 objects that have been offered to acting foreign ministers and mark specific periods.

After its stay at Zappeio, the exhibition will be permanently transferred to the reception area of ​​the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building on Akadimias Street, where it will be constantly enriched with related objects from the future and from the past.

The event was attended by the acting ministers and deputy ministers of foreign affairs, George Papandreou, Elisavet Papazois, Spyros Flogaitis, Yiannis Amanatidis, Spyros Kouvelis, Dimitris Kourkoulas, Yiannis Valinakis. PASOK’s press representative Dimitris Mantzios, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andreas Katsaniotis, Secretary General of Public Diplomacy and Hellenism Abroad Yiannis Chrysoulakis, heads of diplomatic missions of foreign countries in Greece, members of the diplomatic corps, academics also participated.


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