Athens, December 05, 2022
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ statements following his meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Mukhtar Tileuberdi (Astana, 05.12.2022)
Your Excellency, dear Minister,
First of all, thank you for your very kind and warm hospitality, rather contrary to the temperature outside. I am very happy to be in Astana today. A visit long overdue. I am the first-ever Greek Foreign Minister to visit your country, so I am so proud.
Earlier today, I had the honour to be received by His Excellency President Tokayev, a very well known and distinguished diplomat among others. I had the opportunity to discuss with him about the great potential of our bilateral relations. In 2021 we had the first ever bilateral political and consular consultations, in Athens. We are looking forward to the next round in Kazakhstan. And only a few weeks ago, in October, Deputy Foreign Minister Frangoyannis, led the Greek delegation here in Astana, for the 5th Greek-Kazakh Joint Interministerial Committee (JIC).
This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Greek-Kazakh diplomatic relations and that shows how much we want to move our relations closer. Also, I had the honour to sign with you an Agreement, an MoU between our Diplomatic Academies. And allow me to say that I am also very proud because this marks the 300th bilateral Agreement that my government has concluded, the government of Prime Minister Mitsotakis.
Greece and Kazakhstan are no strangers. We have a long history of interaction and we have a solid bridge of friendship and mutual understanding, and that’s the presence of 10.000 Greeks in Kazakhstan and more than 40.000 Kazakh citizens– mostly of Greek origin in Greece.
I would like to thank you and the Kazakh government for publicly and positively responding to Greece’s request to open two Honorary Consulates, in Almaty and in Aktau, two cities with an important Greek presence.
We also talked about our cooperation within International Organizations. We have a very good cooperation in the UN system and thank you so much for supporting us in our efforts to become a non-permanent member of the Security Council in 2025-2026.
We agreed that there is ample room for improving our bilateral trade and economic relations. And we can focus on energy, energy efficiency, agriculture, tourism, construction and on trade of products of high added value.
Allow me to say and acknowledge here that Kazakhstan is a very reliable energy partner for Greece and for the whole of the European Union. Greece, located in the crossroads of the Southern gas Corridor via the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline/TAP, is a natural entry point for Europe, especially Central and Eastern Europe.
We talked about our common interest in interconnecting transport infrastructure in the region and we talked about the EU-Kazakhstan relations. Greece will be very happy to facilitate those relations.
And we welcome the entry into force and implementation of the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (E.P.C.A.)
We also spoke about general issues. I repeated, and I am repeating again, the Greek position that revisionism shall not be tolerated and should not be tolerated by the International Community in the 21st century. The respect for territorial integrity, for national sovereignty and independence of all states is the cornerstone of a stable and prosperous world.
I’ve also explained to you the fundamental principles of Greek foreign policy.
We discussed the diplomatic efforts for ending the war in Ukraine. We agreed they should be pursued further, in full respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.
I touched upon the Cyprus issue, another important international issue which needs a solution based on the UN Security Council Resolutions and compatible with the European acquis.
My dear colleague,
As a final note, I will be very happy to receive you in Athens. Allow me to ask you to visit us, as soon as possible. It will be a very happy moment for me, to have the pleasure of hosting you as graciously as you did here in Astana.
Thank you so much.