Mitsotakis: Cancelled meeting with Sunak will not affect Greek-UK relations long-term

state budget Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis

Talking to President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou on Wednesday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that the cancellation by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of their meeting in London will not affect Greek-British relations in the long-term, adding that these relations have a significant historical depth.

He also said that there was a positive side to the meeting's cancellation "in that Greece's just demand for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles gained even greater publicity, not only in the United Kingdom but also in global public opinion."

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On her part, Sakellaropoulou said that the Parthenon is a symbol not only of the classical period but is important for the planet, for world cultural heritage, because it is a symbol of Democracy and Philosophy.

"The reunification of the Marbles has been a demand of the country almost since the Greek state's foundation ... and one that has in recent years - and I consider this very important - met with the understanding and acknowledgement of international public opinion, of British public opinion. And this is, perhaps, the greatest gain. There are some issues that are not resolved automatically but need time," she said.

Mitsotakis visited Sakellaropoulou for the regular monthly briefing of the president by the prime minister.

The government will continue to work on the return of the Parthenon Marbles, Kontogeorgis says

Detailed answers on the issue of the Parthenon Marbles, especially on the reaction of the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, but also on the attempt to return the Marbles, were given by the Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister Thanasis Kontogeorgis in his radio interview on ERT on Wednesday.

"The government and the prime minister had highlighted in the past, in a systematic, appropriate way, the issue of reuniting the Parthenon Marbles in their natural environment. Obviously, it is a delicate issue, an ongoing demand, so the handling must be delicate," he said, while also recording the shift in public opinion in United Kingdom.

"There is a reaction both within Great Britain and internationally. It's not something that turned out well for the British Prime Minister," he added, and reassured: "We will continue the work that is needed and with the organisations that we need to cooperate with, in order at some point to achieve this fair request and to fulfill the wishes of all of us in this issue."

At the same time, he denied Downing Street's claim that there had been a prior agreement between the two governments not to raise the controversial issue.

Gerapetritis: The request for Parthenon Marbles arises from law, history, universal cultural values

The request for the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles is a request that arises from law, from history and from universal cultural values, Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis said when asked about his meeting with his British counterpart, David Cameron, upon his arrival for the second day of the NATO foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels on Wednesday.

"Regardless of this, it is our belief that the bilateral relations between Greece and the United Kingdom should be at a good level and we will work with my counterpart in this direction," he underlined.

Regarding the meeting with his US counterpart, Anthony Blinken, Gerapetritis pointed out that "we had the opportunity to confirm the excellent relations between the United States and Greece, to work on the issues that are currently at the cutting edge of the regional and international debate, to organise our next steps, which include my visit to Washington and, of course, to evaluate the position of Greece, the creative position of Greece in the Middle East issue, where as a reliable player, Greece can have an important mediating role."

He also noted that he considers it extremely important for the Alliance to focus on the issues of the South as well.

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