Greece, at UN, spotlights ‘soft power’ to forge regional, international cooperation

Nikos Kotzias, Minister for Foreign Affairs for Greece, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-second session. UN Photo/Cia Pak

22 September 2017 – Situated close to what continues to be an extremely turbulent region such as the Middle East and parts of North Africa, Greece is a pillar of stability, its Foreign Minister stressed today at the United Nations General Assembly, also noting that the country remains committed to the protection of human rights of migrants.

“Our main objective is to develop a positive, manifold agenda of cooperation in international affairs, focusing on synergies and joint activities, especially through culture as one of the main drivers of soft power in international relations, and other areas of cooperation, such as trade, education and research,” said Minister for Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias during the annual high-level debate.

He explained that enhancing regional cooperation in the Balkans is the core thinking behind another Greek initiative – dialogue among Greece, Albania, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – launched in April 2016.

With a view to responding to the refugee crisis effectively and in line with European democratic values and principles, the four countries will focus, during their upcoming meeting in October, on identifying ways for better interaction on issues such as return operations, exchange of information, tackling smuggling, human trafficking, terrorism, organized crime and energy networks, he added.

Greece has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring full and effective implementation of the New York Declaration and its annexes adopted last year to address the large movements of migrants.

In parallel, Greece will remain committed to work in the context of the Global Compact for Migration that is to be concluded by 2018, Mr. Kotzias said.


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