HomeGreeceMinister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ statements following his meeting with Minister...

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ statements following his meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Gabon, Michael Moussa Adamo (Athens, 25.07. 2022)

Thank you very much.Dear Deputy Minister of Environment, Mr. Amyras, Minister, it is a great pleasure to welcome you today in Athens, on the first visit of a Gabonese Minister to Greece, just a few months following my own visit to Libreville, where I had the great honor of being received by the President of the Republic of Gabon, Ali Bongo.
In fact, this display of force is not often accompanied by real power.
Thank you very much for the great honor of being here with us today, as your country’s first Minister to visit Athens and Greece in an official capacity.
This also occurs in the framework of the implementation of the Memorandum on Political Consultations signed between our countries last November.
We believe that Greece has found real friends in you, President Ali Bongo, and the Gabonese people.
First of all, Deputy Minister, I would like to thank you for your presence here today, especially at a time when you are addressing crises due to forest fires.
In general, however, I believe that we could cooperate on economic issues related to shipping and your interest in opening an office in Piraeus is something that demonstrates how you perceive this cooperation.
My dear colleague, the prospects for the development of our cooperation are significant. I’d like to focus on two areas: first of all, on the maritime sector, where Greece, as we are aware, has the largest commercial fleet; the Greek-owned fleet is the largest on the planet. Greece is extremely interested in maritime security, and the fight against piracy.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ statements following his meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Gabon, Michael Moussa Adamo (Athens, 25.07. 2022)Cher collègue,
Consequently, I believe that if one takes into account that you have a very long coastline and that you attach primary importance to marine environmental protection as well, our ability to work together will come naturally. That is why I am delighted and honored that you are joining us today at an event we are organizing in the framework of the International Conference “Our Ocean Greece 2024”, to be held at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation this afternoon.
I’d also like to publicly thank you for your support for Greece’s candidacy for a seat on the Security Council for the 2025-2026 term. I’d like to mention that we cooperate within the framework of Francophonie as well and we look forward to your constructive and moderate role in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, where you also participate.
We had the opportunity today, dear Minister, to examine the whole range of our bilateral relations since we are separated by a distance that is not as great as many would believe, while we are very closely linked by shared values: our commitment to International Law, our commitment to the International Law of the Sea.
You’ve also had the opportunity today to inform me about the broader situation on the African continent, the economies of various African countries, as well as about the tremendous opportunities that are opening up and we can exploit together.
We discussed this issue earlier and I’d like to state publicly that a few days ago I attended a training exercise at the Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center in Crete and it would be a pleasure for us to host officers from Gabon at this facility.
Another area where we could work closely together is environmental protection. Gabon is a pioneer in the conservation and protection of rainforests and biodiversity. Indeed, you chaired the African Group of States at the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow last year.
Furthermore, Gabon constitutes an example since, along with Equatorial Guinea, it has agreed to refer the issue of maritime delimitation to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
And we sincerely wish that all countries would follow your example of embracing these fundamental values rather than seeking to impose their will on others for the sole purpose of showing force.
I believe that a wide area of cooperation can be developed between our countries, which by the way, share the same initial letter in their name: Greece, Gabon – and we sit next to each other in most international organizations.
Our meeting today is the third of Foreign Ministers of our two countries in less than a year.  Considering that no such meetings occurred in the past decades, I believe we’ve filled a gap and today we have taken one more step toward deepening our relations by signing two Memoranda of Understanding in the fields of environment and tourism. That is why Deputy Minister Amyras has joined us.
Gabon, like Greece, has ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the UNCLOS.
Today, we also had the opportunity to discuss international developments and our cooperation within international organizations. Gabon, as you are aware, is a member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2022-23 term and has the potential to play an important role in the context of participation in the UN Security Council.
We will work with Deputy Minister, Mr. Fragogiannis, to identify specific areas where this cooperation could be developed further in the years to come, dear Minister.


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