K. Mitsotakis – B. Johnson | Economy, investments, return of Parthenon Marbles and Turkish provocation on meeting agenda
Defence Redefined
Published on 15/11/2021 at 10:02

The whole spectrum of bilateral relations, the great potential for deepening economic and trade relations, investment, tourism upgrade in 2022, the return of the Parthenon Marbles and their reunification in Greece as well as the Cyprus issue and the resumption of Turkish aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean are topics expected to be discussed during the meeting held tomorrow Tuesday, between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The meeting takes place at a critical time in terms of the future of EU-British relations, as the existing dispute between the European Commission and the British Government on a number of outstanding issues (such as the Brexit trade agreements and the Northern Ireland Protocol) is ongoing. Kyriakos Mitsotakis is the first European leader to visit London this week.

Government sources place special emphasis on the economic-investment part of the Greek Prime Minister’s visit to the British capital. According to them, during his contacts in London, Mr. Mitsotakis is expected to underline the important prospect of further developing economic and trade relations. Tourism is a topic of special interest for our country, with expectations for the arrivals of the British in Greece in 2022 being particularly high, provided, always, that the restrictions due to Covid-19 are lifted.

During his stay in London, Mr. Mitsotakis is expected to have contacts and meetings with important investors, representatives of the Confederation of British Industrialists, and also the very active Greek community in London in this field.

Besides, the Greek Prime Minister is expected to urgently raise the issue of the return of the Parthenon Marbles and their reunification in Greece in the meeting he will have tomorrow with his British counterpart Boris Johnson in Downing Street, as indicated by his recent intervention at the event for the 75th anniversary of the founding of UNESCO at the Organisation’s headquarters in Paris.

Also read: Greece – United Kingdom | Relations strengthening

Specifically, Mr. Mitsotakis is going – according to government sources – to call on the British government to cooperate at the intergovernmental level for the return of the Parthenon Marbles and their reunification in Greece. He will also emphasize that the issue was a matter that concerned the two governments, which should not cast a shadow over the relations between them. In the same context, he will encourage the British government to enter into a dialogue of good faith with Greece regarding the return of the Marbles and the reunification of the monument in its birthplace, Greece.

As Mr. Mitsotakis noted in his interview with the British “The Telegraph”, “I’m sure that if there is a will on the part of the government (UK) to change stance, we could come to an arrangement with the British Museum to lend cultural treasures abroad, which have never been found outside Greece.”

Government officials recall that last September, for the first time in its history, the UNESCO Intergovernmental Commission for the Return of Cultural Property (ICPRCP) issued a decision on the return of the Parthenon Marbles, highlighting its intergovernmental character, hence deconstructing the British argument that this is an issue between museums. 

In addition, during his meeting with the British Prime Minister, Mr. Mitsotakis is expected to fully inform him about the most recent escalation of Turkish aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean, but also to point out that Greece – as a factor of stability in the wider region – will continue to defend in a decisive and effective way its territorial sovereignty and sovereign rights. Regarding the Cyprus issue, the Greek Prime Minister is expected to decry before the British Prime Minister the highly counterproductive stance of Ankara and the pseudo-state, which insist on a two-state solution.

Also read: United Kingdom | “Amnesty” for paramilitaries and soldiers involved in the Northern Ireland riots

Mr. Mitsotakis, who is expected during the day and before the arrival of the British capital, will contact senior European officials in terms of the UK-EU relations and will point out to his British interlocutor the need to overcome the difficulties, which are finally identified in EU-British relations in respect of Brexit.

Government sources point out that the Prime Minister will clarify that Greece wishes to have fruitful relations with Great Britain, but on the issue of different approaches between the EU and Great Britain, he fully supports Brussels. Finally, he is expected to point out that the unity of the EU is not in question and that Greece remains in solidarity with its partners and Ireland.

Source: AMNA

Also read: BREXIT | We have taken back control of our destiny, says Johnson – It is time for Scotland to secede from the UK, says Sturgeon




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