Dendias: Greece supported Palestine when it had no Western recognition, we will train their diplomats

Nikos Dendias

In a statement given after his meeting with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, Nikos Dendias expressed that he will visit Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority.

In his statement, the Greek Foreign Minister said that al-Maliki's visit to Athens was repeatedly postponed because of COVID-19.

"Greece maintains close and historical ties with the Palestinian people," he said.

"We have been at your side in difficult moments, and we are a western country that gave you practical support when you did not have the international recognition and support that you have today," Dendias continued.

"I would like to stress this, because Greece’s stance has always been a principled stance and not one of opportunism or expecting something in exchange," the foreign minister added.

Nikos Dendias
Nikos Dendias with Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki on March 16, 2021.

He also said that "Greece wants to deepen its relations with you on the bilateral and multilateral levels."

Dendias also revealed that Palestinian diplomats will be trained at the Greek diplomatic academy.

"Finally, we are willing to offer support, provided you deem it appropriate and request it, for organizing and carrying out the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections," he said.

During the statement Dendias expressed Greece's support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine issue.

Nikos Dendias with Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki on March 16, 2021.
Nikos Dendias with Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Maliki on March 16, 2021.

He said that Greece supported a two state solution "within the boundaries of 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and in accordance with International Law."

During the statement Dendias also said that Greece has put forward Ambassador Thrasyvoulos Stamatopoulos as a candidate for the position of European Union special envoy for the peace process.

The Greek Foreign Minister also highlighted "the special importance Greece attaches to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem, which is recognised as a prime trustee of Holy Pilgrimage sites."

"Thank you very much. I am very pleased, my dear colleague, to have you here in Athens today, and I look forward to reciprocating in Ramallah," Dendias concluded.

READ MORE: Left wing groups protest outside Israeli embassy in Athens.