The Greek government’s views on the need to stabilize the situation in the Western Balkans were outlined by Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias at the meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs, held in Riga on Wednesday.
Regional challenges but also opportunities presented for these countries via their European integration prospects were also underlined by the Greek minister. Dendias had a brief meeting with Norway’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt, in the sidelines of the meeting of NATO ministers of foreign affairs, held “in light of Norway’s United Nations Security Council membership,” Dendias said on Twitter. He also met briefly with his Dutch counterpart.
“There is plenty of common ground,” Dendias said about his meetings, “including issues relating to the Law of the Sea, that could – and should be discussed,” he pointed out.
Also on Wednesday, Dendias attended a meeting that was participated by countries who hold an active diplomatic role in the African region of the Sahel, called by French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, also in the sidelines of the meeting of NATO ministers of foreign affairs. Dendias noted that the Greek government has recently opened a new embassy in Senegal.
In this context, said the Greek Foreign Affairs Minister, security challenges that sub-Saharan Africa presents for Europe are being discussed, as is how to deal with humanitarian issues, but also with problems of terrorism and migration, which arise from this area, he underlined.
Wrapping up his participation in the NATO ministerial meeting in Riga, Dendias also met with European Commission Vice-President and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy Josep Borrell.
Dendias will then head to Stockholm on Wednesday for the 28th Ministerial Council meeting of the Organization for Security & Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), held on December 2-3.
Upon his arrival, Dendias will participate in a working dinner of the 57 foreign affairs ministers of OSCE countries, hosted by the Swedish foreign minister.
On Thursday, Dendias will attend the actual meeting, which provides the Foreign Ministers of the 57 OSCE participating States an opportunity to review and assess the organization’s activities and strengthen the dialogue on security issues in the OSCE area, said the Greek foreign affairs ministry.
The impact of the crisis in Afghanistan on the OSCE area will be the subject of a working dinner on Thursday, hosted by the Swedish foreign minister.
In Stockholm, Dendias is also expected to meet with the foreign ministers of San Marino, Azerbaijan, Andorra, Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan.