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EnglishGerapetritis: Essential to ensure the unimpeded flow of aid to Gaza

Gerapetritis: Essential to ensure the unimpeded flow of aid to Gaza

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The need to “halt hostilities and immediately put an end to the bloodshed and allow humanitarian aid to flow unimpeded into Gaza,” was underlined by Foreign Affairs Minister George Gerapetritis in his statements after his meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly in Athens on Friday.
He pointed out that a humanitarian catastrophe was underway in the Middle East, while there was great concern about a spillover and the destabilising impact of the war.
“Greece is making a productive contribution to solving the problem, participating in the peace processes, bilaterally but also through the European Union and the UN, for a solution within the framework of the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, for a solution for the establishment of the Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, having the pre-1967 borders,” he pointed out.
Regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he called the situation “a serious threat to peace and stability, not only in Europe but worldwide.”
“Greece and Canada from the first moment stood against revisionism, against any dispute of international law and the territorial integrity of Ukraine, which we support both bilaterally and in the context of international cooperation,” Gerapetritis said.
Referring to relations between Greece and Canada, he described these as “historic”, noting that before the meeting he had shown the Canadian minister the royal decrees of 1895, 1920 and 1937 which established the consulates general, consular offices and the embassy of Greece in Canada.
“Over the years, the ties between our peoples have become sincere, deep and unshakeable,” he noted and added that the two countries are connected by common views and principles, based on the defence of democracy, the rule of law, and humanism. “We unite our voices in international forums to support these universal values,” he pointed out.
During the meeting, the bilateral relations of the two countries were discussed, with Gerapetritis stressing that the economic and investment climate in Greece has changed.
“Greece is now an investment-friendly country, as evidenced by the presence of Canadian businesses both in Northern Greece and at Eleftherios Venizelos Airport.
“We seek to strengthen and increase investments, given the development trajectory of the Greek economy, the geopolitical position of Greece and of course the political and economic stability of the country,” he stressed.
He also noted that the close cooperation between the two countries was sealed with the purchase by Greece of seven Canadair aircraft, which will be used for forest firefighting.
“Climate change is relentless,” he noted while expressing Greece’s solidarity with Western Canada following the fires there.
“Investing in green energy is a one-way street and it is vital,” he stressed. “Greece aspires to become a geostrategic hub, supporting energy projects such as the vertical gas corridors, infrastructure and transport projects, as well as connections to Greek ports.”
To promote all these policies, the two countries are coordinating their actions in the framework of international organisations, he pointed out and thanked Canada for its commitment to support Greece’s candidacy for the position of non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the years 2025- 2026.
“Our priorities will be, among others, the fight against the climate crisis, the defence of women’s rights and the protection of children. Values that have traditionally been fervently supported by Canada’s liberal society,” he emphasised. He pointed out that “the motto of the Greek candidacy is Dialogue, Democracy, Diplomacy. Three Greek words with high meaning, depth and global appeal”.
“In asymmetric times, it is our duty to keep dialogue alive and support the diplomatic resolution of all international and bilateral disputes,” he added.
Finally, he referred to the Greek community in Canada, which numbers approximately 350,000 people, saying this constitutes a “bridge that connects the two countries and the two cultures”.
“The Greek prime minister found this out for himself, during his recent visit to Canada and his meeting with the prime minister, Mr. Trudeau, the first visit of a Greek prime minister to Canada after 41 years,” noted Mr. Gerapetritis.

Mélanie Joly : “We are in the golden age of our friendship”

“We are in the golden age of our friendship. Because we have very close ties and a large Greek community in Canada,” underlined the Canadian foreign minister.
She noted that the Greek prime minister had been in Canada just six weeks earlier, when he met with the Canadian prime minister and they celebrated Greece’s March 25 national day together, while thanking Greece for supporting Canadians in their evacuation from Tel Aviv in October.
Joly noted that the two countries have a common history, shared values of democracy and respect for the rule of law, and face the world’s great challenges as “partners and allies”. She noted that there was an ongoing dynamic change in the world and “we must continue to work together within the framework of NATO.”
Joly also thanked Greece for its support over what is happening in Western Canada, which derived from its own experience, while saying that the two countries, which both possess very good entrepreneurs, products and services, can do a lot together as regards trade.
The Canadian minister congratulated Greece on its candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council and on the launch of the national plan for the safety of women.
She said the two countries must continue to work together to address the challenges posed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, both in defence but also for the repatriation of children from Ukraine.
Three days earlier, Joly was in Cyprus to check on the progress of the humanitarian corridor and stressed the need to help Gaza:
“Gaza is the worst place to be in the world, it needs all kinds of help. We support every possible effort and initiative to provide humanitarian aid,” she said.
Stressing that “the message is clear,” she said the bloodshed must stop, that a ceasefire is needed now, that the hostages must be released and Hamas must hand over its weapons, allowing humanitarian aid to reach the people of Gaza. The creation of the Palestinian state cannot be delayed any longer, she concluded.

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