N. Dendias in Nigeria and Angola – Strategic choice of Greece to strengthen relations with Sub-Saharan Africa

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Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias’s visit to sub-Saharan Africa began with a meeting with Nigerian Foreign Minister Jeffrey Ongeama

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The agenda of the meeting included the strengthening of Greece-Nigeria relations with emphasis on investments, cooperation within international organizations, regional and international developments based on respect for international law, as well as pandemic challenges, according to a relevant ministry post. Foreign on twitter.

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After the talks, the two ministers will sign a memorandum of bilateral cooperation.

Mr. Dendias arrived in Abuja on Sunday night, the first visit of a Greek Foreign Minister to the country, where he was received by the Nigerian Ambassador to Greece Opunimi Akinkugbe and Nigerian Foreign Ministry officials.

During his stay in Nigeria, he is also expected to meet with Minister of State for Health Adeleke Olorunibe Mamora and then with Nigerian Vice President Olujemi Olulekeke “Gemi” Ozinbajo.

Tonight he will go to Angola, where tomorrow, Tuesday, January 11, he is expected to meet with his counterpart Tete Antonio. After the talks, the two Foreign Ministers will sign a memorandum of bilateral cooperation, and then joint statements are expected in the press.

Afterwards, the Greek Foreign Minister is expected to meet with the Minister of Health, Sylvia Loutoukouta. Then, he will go to the Lubango sports school where a Greek donation will be offered, in the presence of the Deputy Minister of Youth, Fernando Francisco Joao.

On the same day, the Minister of Foreign Affairs will hold a meeting with the Minister of State in charge of Economic Coordination, Manuel Jose Nunes.

On Wednesday, January 12, Mr. Dendias is expected to be heard by Angolan President Joao Manuel Gonzalves Lorenzo.

The talks in both Nigeria and Angola, which are part of the broader plan to activate Greek foreign policy on the African continent, will focus, inter alia, on regional and international developments, the joint effort to tackle the pandemic, and in strengthening political and economic bilateral relations with an emphasis on investment, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Foreign Minister is expected to underline Greece’s foreign policy priorities, which are based on adherence to international law and good neighborly relations.

In this context, it is expected to refer to the challenges in our country’s neighborhood, as well as to the candidacy for a position of non-permanent member in the UN Security Council in the period 2025-26.

As part of Greece’s continued assistance to third countries in combating the coronavirus pandemic, the Foreign Minister is expected to announce the offer of vaccine doses against Covid-19: 900,000 in Nigeria, through the COVAX mechanism and 100,000 in Angola.

Diplomatic sources: The policy of strengthening and expanding Greece’s relations with sub-Saharan African countries continues

This visit, the first by the Minister of Foreign Affairs abroad in the new year, follows his visits to Rwanda, Gabon and Ghana, in November 2021, thus continuing the policy of strengthening and expanding Greece’s relations with the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. , according to diplomatic sources.

As part of ongoing contacts with sub-Saharan Africa, which is a strategic choice, the Kenyan Foreign Minister, who met with Mr. Dendias in Rome last June, is also expected to visit Athens in February. The foreign minister is also planning a visit to Senegal in March to inaugurate the Greek embassy there.

Nigeria is one of the most important countries in sub-Saharan Africa, as it is the largest economy in the region, hosting the headquarters of the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) regional organization. At the same time, it plays an important role in the African Union. In addition, it is particularly interested in the safety of navigation in the Gulf of Guinea and is a party to UNCLOS.

During his stay in Abuja, the Foreign Minister is expected to meet with his counterpart, with whom he is expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for Political Consultation between the two countries’ Foreign Ministries, as well as with the country’s Vice President.

The same sources emphasize that it will be the first visit of the Greek Foreign Minister to Nigeria (it was preceded in 2018 by the visit of the then Deputy Foreign Minister Terence Quick).

It is also promoting, in collaboration with the competent Deputy Minister of Tourism Sofia Zacharaki, the signing of a bilateral Agreement in the field of tourism education.

During the visit, the prospects of expanding bilateral economic cooperation are expected to be examined, taking into account that large Greek companies are active in Nigeria.

Nigeria is one of the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa that is part of the four-year development assistance program of Greece, in the context of international efforts to combat terrorism and illegal immigration.

It is recalled that the Nigerian government appointed an ambassador to our country in June 2021, after 9 years during which he was authorized head of the Nigerian embassy, ​​thus indicating the increased interest in bilateral relations with Greece, the same sources said.

Angola is also one of the most important countries in sub-Saharan Africa and is emerging as a pole of stability in the region. In addition, he chairs the community of Portuguese-speaking countries (CPLP), in which Greece became an observer at the Luzophone Summit held in Luanda in July 2021.

Mr. Dendias’ visit will be the first visit of a Greek minister to Angola, diplomatic sources said. It is recalled that in September 2021 the first meeting of the Greek Foreign Minister with his counterpart from Angola took place in New York, on the sidelines of the General Assembly. During the meeting, Angolan Foreign Minister Tete Antonio invited Dendias to visit Luanda as soon as possible.

During the visit, the two ministers are scheduled to sign a Memorandum of Political Consultation between the Foreign Ministries, while the Foreign Minister is expected to be received by the President.

In addition to providing 100,000 vaccines, which Mr. Dendias will announce during his meeting with the Minister of Health, he will also hand over to the Minister of Youth a check for 50,000 euros for actions in the field of youth and sports. He is also expected to discuss the cooperation of the two countries in the field of investments with the Minister of State responsible for economy.

These visits are part of the expansion of Greece’s international contacts, taking into account Greece’s candidacy for a non-permanent position in the UN Security Council, as well as information on our country’s positions on various international issues, based on always of respect for International Law, the same sources underlined.



Source From: Capital

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