Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met today with his British counterpart Boris Johnson. The two leaders went over the bilateral relationship and discussed the prospect of further deepening cooperation between the two counties.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis congratulated Mr Johnson on the COP26 Summit on climate change and his efforts to reach an outcome on this crucial and exceptionally complicated issue.
Mr Mitsotakis reiterated to Mr Johnson Greece’s long-standing demand for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures, stressing that the time has come to satisfy the fair Greek request and restore the monument in its fullness in the Acropolis Museum.
On EU – UK relations, the Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction for the continuation of the dialogue between the two sides on the Northern Ireland Protocol. He underscored that the implementation of the Protocol is necessary in the context of the UK commitments stemming from the Withdrawal Agreement.
The Prime Minister underlined Turkey’s destabilizing role in the Eastern Mediterranean, which leaves no room for optimism regarding the prospects of engaging in dialogue, for which Greece always stands ready as long as international law -including the Law of the Sea- respect for sovereignty and sovereign rights are observed.
On Cyprus, the Prime Minister pointed out the intractability and aggressiveness still demonstrated by Ancara, with new illegal, provocative actions and threats, in Varosha and the maritime zones of the Republic of Cyprus. He stressed that the recision of the illegal Turkish schemes in Varosha is an essential precondition for the efforts to resume negotiations, under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary General, to come to fruition.
Boris Johnson: It’s great to welcome my friend Kyriakos Mitsotakis to London. We have been working on this for a long time; and the relationship between Greece and the UK is of the utmost importance to me, to us.
This is of course the bicentenary of our support for Greek independence, for Greece’s historic movement towards independence, in 1821
Kyriakos Mitsotakis: 1821, it all started, against the odds.
Boris Johnson: Against the odds, with the support of Lord Byron and others. Fantastic to see you.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis: It’s great to be here. There’s a lot to talk about, our very strong bilateral relationship. I recognize in you a true philhellene.
Boris Johnson: A true philhellene. But also I want to say a big thank you to Kyriakos for your leadership during COP26 in Glasgow.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Congratulations to you Boris. It was a very complicated project but I think that we are, overall, happy with…
Boris Johnson: We made a lot of progress. Thank you