Dendias in New Delhi: “Cyprus has historic relations with India; we aspire for strategic relations”

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias concluded his two-day trip to India on Wednesday.

In a statement following the conclusion of his contacts in New Delhi with Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Dendias said that India was also a signatory to UNCLOS and a member of the UN Security Council.

Referring to his meeting and working luncheon with Jaishankar, Dendias said it was their third meeting in the space of a year.

“As expected, we first discussed the crisis in Ukraine and I conveyed Greece’s positions,” including the sanctions following European Union directives, he said.

READ MORE: Dendias: India is a big power and Greece aspires for a strategic relationship.

As the Greek minister noted, “We agreed that this development is entirely incompatible with international law, and the attempt to change borders through violence as well as the lack of respect of territorial integrity is entirely beyond the international law framework.”

Other issues they discussed included developing economic relations between Greece and India, the East Mediterranean, and the Cyprus issue.

“Cyprus has historic relations with India, from the era of Archbishop Makarios and Jawahrlal Nehru,” Dendias noted.

During his official visit to India, Dendias was received by Vice President Naidu, to whom he conveyed the best wishes of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister thanks Greece for aid

While visiting India, Dendias was also called by his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, who expressed his gratitude to Greece on behalf of his government and President Volodymyr Zelensky for the humanitarian aid Greece sent to Mariupoli.

The situation at the heavily bombed city “is entirely unacceptable, entirely incompatible with humanitarian law, a situation that creates massive problems with loss of civilian lives, a situation entirely condemnable,” Dendias said in his statement.

It is recalled that Dendias told a news conference in Athens on March 22 to honour Manolis Androulakis, the last European diplomat to leave the battered city, that he had already been in touch with the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross on coordinating efforts to deliver aid.

“I sent a note verbale to the Ukrainian side asking for the facilitation of the delivery of humanitarian aid in Mariupol and another note verbale to the Russian side asking not to obstruct it,” he said, adding “I intend to accompany this aid in person.”

After weeks of bombardment, Ukrainian forces, including the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, are still battling Russian troops in the streets, with more than 200,000 civilians said to be trapped without water, electricity, and dwindling food supplies.

Eyewitness accounts say dead bodies are strewn about the streets, with the local city council accusing the Russians on March 22 of pounding the city into the “ashes of a dead land.”

READ MORE: The contribution of the Greeks and Philhellenes of India to Greece’s Independence.