Developments in the Eastern Mediterranean region and the framework of bilateral cooperation after Brexit were at the center of the talks that Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had in London early in the afternoon with his counterpart Dominique Raab and Undersecretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Morton. The Cyprus issue was also discussed during the contacts of the Greek Foreign Minister.
Mr. Dendias presented the Greek perspective on issues related to the Eastern Mediterranean, outlining the concern caused by Turkey's actions.
He noted in a statement that Greece and Britain pursue their foreign policy in accordance with international law. “Both countries comply with our contractual obligations under international law. Either these refer to treaties signed a few years ago, or even a century ago. “We expect our neighbors to do the same,” he said.
He added that Greece expects the United Kingdom “to contribute, as a Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council, but also with its significant potential, to the establishment in the Eastern Mediterranean of a framework for the application of the rules of international law, as well as UNCLOS “After all, the United Kingdom has endorsed UNCLOS.”
The British side welcomed the resumption of exploratory talks between Athens and Ankara, noting the importance of the two UK allies in NATO for stability and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Discussions revolved around the Cyprus issue in particular, with Mr Raab traveling to Cyprus on Thursday ahead of an informal conference of the five parties involved, plus the United Nations.
Mr. Dendias pointed out that the solution must be based on the internationally accepted model of the bi-zonal bi-communal federation, a model that has recently been supported by the United Kingdom with official positions.
A British diplomatic source commented that London hopes the informal conference will lead to a new formal round of negotiations, noting that it was important that everyone participate unconditionally.
Regarding the diametrically opposed positions between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the solution model, the same source said that the role of the United Nations and countries such as the United Kingdom seeking a solution is to identify and highlight the margins of convergence, which can be done with show goodwill.
In a Twitter post, Mr. Dendias stressed that Greece and the United Kingdom are linked by long-standing kisses and cooperation, strong ties between the two peoples and a common will for a strong future relationship in the post-Brexit period to address common challenges.
In his statement he also referred to the issue of the Parthenon Sculptures that are in the British Museum, saying that it is obvious that the context of their return to Greece should be launched.
He added that the post-Brexit framework for bilateral cooperation “should be compatible with our obligations as a Member State of the European Union, but it should also take advantage of the vast capital of our bilateral prospects”. He spoke of the ambition to create a strategic partnership between Greece and the United Kingdom.
For her part, Morton referred to this year's celebration of the 200th anniversary of Greek independence, talking about “a great opportunity to highlight the historical ties with the United Kingdom.”
He added that they agreed with the Greek Foreign Minister on the importance of further strengthening bilateral relations and cooperation on a common vision for the future.