Greece’s desire to expand and deepen its relations with Vietnam was expressed by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in his statements during his visit to Hanoi. In particular, he pointed out that Vietnam, a country of 100 million inhabitants, with a rising economy of almost 400 billion, is an interesting interlocutor for Greece in the Southeast Asian region.
Referring to his meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son, Nikos Dendias emphasized that they agreed that the two countries should have close consultations on the Law of the Sea, understand each other’s positions, and work together for the development of the International Law of the Sea, but also its application in the world. Besides, he noted that Vietnam is a country that has not only co-signed UNCLOS, the International Convention on the Law of the Sea, but is also an active member of the League of Friends of UNCLOS.
Furthermore, the two ministers discussed, among other things, bilateral relations, economic, as well as a series of collaborations at the educational level and at the level of sports.
At the same time, the Minister of Foreign Affairs reminded that President Ho Chi Minh, the founder of Vietnam, fought on the Macedonian Front in the period ’16-’17 in the ranks of the French army and announced that it was agreed to have a bust of him in Edessa, which would highlight this the fact.
They also discussed the transfer of the ashes of the Greek fighter Sarantidis, who fought with the Vietnamese army during the Vietnamese War of Independence, and whom the Vietnamese remember fondly, as Nikos Dendias reported.
Asked about the crisis in Kosovo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs made it clear that stability and security in the wider region is something that absolutely interests Greek diplomacy. “I don’t remember how many times, in the last two years, I have visited Pristina and Belgrade. And also, as you know, Greece participates in KFOR, in the peacekeeping force in Kosovo” he added and underlined that what is required is caution, is observance of International Law. He also noted that it is the environment that will allow Belgrade and Pristina to discuss and resolve their differences. In this context, he announced that Greece, as an honest interlocutor in the Balkans, will do everything it can to facilitate this process.
In addition to the talks with his Vietnamese counterpart, during his visit to the country’s capital Hanoi, Nikos Dendias will be received by the President of Vietnam, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, as well as by the Prime Minister of the country, Pham Minh Chinh (Pham Minh Chinh, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In addition, Mr. Dendias will deliver, in the context of a special ceremony, financial support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the recipient being the National Olympic Committee of Vietnam. The aid will be delivered to the Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam, Hoang Dao Cuong, with whom the Foreign Minister will also have a meeting on bilateral cooperation.
It should be noted that the visit of the Foreign Minister to Hanoi follows the visit of the Vice President of Vietnam, Vo Thi Anh Xuan, to Athens (November 2021) and the visit of the President of the Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, to Hanoi last May.
Subsequently, Nikos Dendias will go to Cambodia to participate in the work of the 55th Session of the “ASEAN” Organization (Association of South – East Asian Nations). The minister will remain in Phnom Penh until August 3, when the Instrument of Accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) will be signed. The Admission Authority to “TAC” is expected to be signed by representatives of Denmark, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, the Netherlands and Oman at the same ceremony.
On the sidelines of ASEAN work, as noted in the same announcement, Nikos Dendias is expected to have a series of meetings with his counterparts from ASEAN member states. In particular, on Tuesday he will meet with the prime minister (and foreign minister) of Brunei and the deputy prime minister (and foreign minister) of Thailand, as well as the foreign ministers of Singapore and Cambodia, while on Wednesday he is expected to meet with the foreign ministers of Indonesia, India and the Philippines.