HomeGreeceMinister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ opening remarks before his meeting and...

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ opening remarks before his meeting and shutting remarks following his ending up in Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of S. africa, Naledi Pandor (Pretoria, twenty-four. 01. 2023)

First of all, for me, it was an excellent opportunity to build upon the very solid foundation of the relationships with South Africa. We have a great cooperation in the international organisations starting with the United Nations. I am grateful to South Africa for the support in our campaign to be elected to the United Nations’ Security Council. Also, we regard very much South Africa’s place on a big number of international issues. I have to underline again that South Africa is a supporter of UNCLOS, it has ratified the UNCLOS, the Worldwide Convention of the Law of the Sea. And also, it is a member of the Friends of UNCLOS. I invited South Africa in order to participate in the “Our Ocean Conference” in 2024, which we will organise together with the UNITED STATES. We support, also, the particular deepening of relations in between South Africa and the EU. We are very happy that Vice-President Borrell is coming to Pretoria – and we have discussed this particular with you – together with 3 Commissioners. It is important that we assist European investments in The african continent. And I was very happy to hear the way you see things, how things could progress. So , thank you for receiving me right here, today, in Pretoria. Bilaterally, we have excellent relations. Of course , that does not mean that we are not able to do more. These relations are based on respect of Global Law, International Law of the Sea as well; you have activated to UNCLOS, which for all of us is extremely important. Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ opening remarks before his meeting and closing remarks following his meeting with Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, Naledi Pandor (Pretoria, 24.01.2023) Starting remarks And Portugal has a growing and active interest in Africa. Africa is one of the six pillars of our foreign policy and we would like to enhance our relations with S. africa, one of the most significant countries in the continent. It is, for us, obvious that you play a very important part as a member of SADC, the South African Development Community, and the African Union. And you will have the Presidency of BRICS also. So where else to visit, if I may say so. Your Excellency, Allow me to say exactly how extremely happy I am to visit South Africa, a visit long past due. Thank you for raising the issue of the presence of the Greek Diaspora, we now have almost 50. 000 individuals here who participate in what we should believe is and could become a huge success story. We now have a very proud example, regarding Georgios Bizos whom all of us admire and respect. And went through a list of sectors in which we could have a very successful assistance; tourism, energy, yachting, training also. I think we have a lot to do, lots to build upon this solid foundation. Closing remarks Having said that, thank you for seeing this meeting as an opening of a new chapter in enhancing our relationships. Again, I am happy and proud to be in Pretoria nowadays. Thank you so much for making time in your busy schedule to see me. I would really like publicly also to thank you and express my appreciation for the support in our effort to be elected as non-permanent users of the UN Security Council for 2025-26. And, naturally , I am so happy that we supported the candidacy of South Africa to the Human Rights Authorities for 2023-25. We are content for that. I have to state, as the Minister said, I remember the last frame from Casablanca, “this is a beginning of a wonderful friendship”. This is not the start, because the friendship exists. This is actually the continuation of a wonderful companionship.

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