Greece – Visit to Paris by Nikos Dendias, Greek minister of Foreign Affairs (15 June 2020)


Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, received his Greek counterpart, Nikos Dendias, today.

The two ministers discussed key current European issues, regarding which France and Greece share the same goal of a strong, sovereign and united Europe. They underscored the need for the swift adoption of the ambitious recovery plan proposed by the European Commission and took stock of the need for European coordination with respect to the reopening of the internal and external Schengen area borders and the relaunching of tourism following the statement issued by the EU Commission on June 11.

With respect to migration, in the context of the close and longstanding cooperation between the two countries, including the support lent by France to Greece in the management of migration flows, the two ministers underscored the need for the Pact on Migration and Asylum, expected to be proposed by the EU Commission in the near future, to be ambitious, based on responsibility and solidarity, and to take into consideration the situation of the countries of first entry as well as the countries concerned by significant secondary movements.

The ministers discussed the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and in Libya, where France and Greece are working together to promote regional stability. The minister reaffirmed, notably in the wake of Turkey’s recent announcements concerning drilling activities off of several Greek islands, the constant position of France and the EU regarding respect for international law and in particular the law of the sea. He also reaffirmed our position regarding all aspects of Greek sovereignty and condemned any fait accompli policy, as well as any unilateral initiatives that could lead to that. He reaffirmed France’s call to resolve any dispute through dialogue and good faith negotiation, in accordance with international law.

With respect to Libya, the two ministers notably underscored the need to swiftly conclude a ceasefire agreement that would provide for the withdrawal of all foreign forces and for compliance with the UN arms embargo, while France and Greece are engaged in Operation Irini. The minister strongly condemned the growing military support that Turkey is continuing to provide in the conflict in direct violation of the UN embargo.

The ministers also took stock of the situation in the Sahel, following the meeting of the coalition on June 12 and in the context of Greece’s increasing involvement in the region, which France welcomes, and underscored the need for European unity with respect to the situation in the Middle East and relations with China, issues included on the agenda of the Foreign Affairs Council in which the two ministers took part together via video conference following their meeting.

Lastly, the two ministers discussed the prospects for the French-Greek strategic security partnership, in accordance with the goal set by President Macron and the Greek prime minister on January 29.