The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, participated today as a keynote speaker in an online conference co-organized by the Embassy of South Africa and the Group of African Ambassadors in Athens, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This was in the framework of "Africa Day" celebrated on May 25, the day of the anniversary of the founding of the African Union in 1963 (as the Organization of the African Union at the time).
The web conference focused on the African Union's 2021 theme "Arts, Culture and Heritage" and was also attended by, among others, African Union Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Policy and Social Development Amira Elfadil Mohammed Elfadil.
In his speech, the Foreign Minister welcomed the role of the African Union as a security architecture of the African continent.
He also noted the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which has the potential for a common market of 1.2 billion people.
At the same time, the Minister praised the traditional ties of Greece with the countries of Africa and the excellent relations with them over time.
"Greece, which never had a colonial past in the region, has a long and valued relationship with African countries," he said, adding: "By building on these longstanding relations, we are working towards further deepening our mutually beneficial partnerships."
Dendias highlighted Greece's intentions to upgrade cooperation in all sectors, both in bilateral and multilateral contexts.
"Our growing engagement in Africa is being also demonstrated by the opening recently of our new Embassy in Dakar which will cover the biggest part of the Sahel region," the foreign minister said.
"Together with our other Embassies, the General Consulates, Consulates and Honorary Consulates in the Continent, Greece will continue working with our African partners to expand our relations on the ground," he added.
The Minister also stressed the need to further develop a partnership between Europe and Africa and assured that Greece will continue to play its role as a bridge between the two continents.
In this way, Dendias affirmed Greece is "working towards the elaboration of our first strategic priorities paper to guide our policies in the coming years for a strengthened partnership with Africa."
"I would like to conclude by assuring you, that Greece will always be an active partner of Africa," Dendias said.
"A partner that will continue working for the enhancement of our long and strong ties of friendship and cooperation," he concluded.
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