Greek Foreign Minister’s Statement to Chinese Press

Greek Foreign Minister Kotzias

Greek Foreign Minister Kotzias

Following is the full statement made by Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias following his meeting with his Chinese counterpart during his official visit to China.

KOTZIAS: Hello everyone, I am always delighted to be back in beautiful Beijing.

It is always a great pleasure to be together with the Foreign Minister of China and dear friend Mr. Wang Yi, I would like to thank him for this invitation and hope to see him soon in Athens, upon the invitation I extended to him today.

It is always a great pleasure to be here in China, we grew up in two different places of the world and at the same time. We have been growing up over the last 5000 years, in parallel, creating two big civilizations, and we have been together at the same time, asking the same questions: who we are, what is the meaning of life etc. If you read Confucius, Socrates, and Aristotle you will find the same questions and the same positive meaning that all humans are good, have goodness in their soul and they need education. All answers /opinions are the same in both Confucius and Greek philosophers.

China is a reliable and stable friend of Greece as Greece is for China, and we have been discussing (today) how we may deepen our cooperation between our ministries, our governments, our economy. We always have enough wisdom to find a positive way to grow together.

We are totally supporting China's One Belt One Road initiative which is creating a big infrastructure in the world. It is the tradition of China to undertake big projects for the common good of humanity.

We have discussed about investment from China and how we can develop our exports to China, and with great pleasure, we received the invitation to participate in the import Expo of Shanghai and in other events in China.

We have discussed the situation in the world, how we see it, and both of us are supporting multilaterality; we have discussed the situation in the Middle East and the Balkans, and the cooperation between the EU and China; China is a great country which is supporting EU integration and I have to always underline this positive message that is coming, as the EU is running through multiple crises, like Brexit, the financial crisis and so on.

We discussed how to stimulate our economic cooperation as Greece is coming out of the financial crisis with a positive growth and our possibilities towards increased cooperation are more than in the past.

We have discussed how important it is to have contacts between our leaderships and between our people too, with more Chinese tourists going to Greece and are all welcome, and we have discussed about the positive developments after the Prespes Agreement and the name issue of North Macedonia.

We are two ancient civilizations with great historical experience and we have taken together with the initiative to build the Forum of Ancient Civilizations, which still plays a big role in the world today and we have found ways to bring a lot of cultures together that have a long, historic civilizations.

Thank you for your attention my friend FM Wang Yi, thank you very much once again for this invitation, being in China is the realisation of a dream, and we are supporting the Chinese Dream of your President. Xiexie (thanks!)

JOURNALIST: Good evening dear Ministers. Thank you for this chance. I am a reporter from CGTN. I have a question for Minister Kotzias. After this talk just now, what are the main areas and goals you prioritize mostly regarding China-Greece cooperation and what are the means and mechanisms to achieve these ends? Thank you.

Ν. KOTZIAS: I think the most important thing is that we are two countries, two people, two Ministers who trust each other and we are working together in confidence. That’s the most important thing in international relations. Our main goal is to deepen our political cooperation. I have extended and invitation from the Prime Minister to the President of the country to visit Athens, to have cooperation, to deepen the cooperation between our two Ministries.

The second is the Economy. We have to learn a lot from China and there are many possibilities for cooperation. We thought maybe it is possible to have more imports in your country from Greece in agriculture products and good food! You are welcome to Athens. And to have cooperation between companies that are working in the field of new technologies.

For us culture diplomacy is also very important, to deepen our cooperation in this wonderful initiative, the Forum of Ancient Civilizations.

So, I think when a Greek Minister is coming to Beijing, he is always going back at home with more optimism, with more fields of cooperation.