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Dendias and Katsaniotis Meet With Papastergiadis

Dendias papastergiadis katsaniotis
Nikos Dendias, Bill Papastergiadis and Andreas Katsaniotis

Dendias and Katsaniotis Meet With Papastergiadis

President of the Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria Bill Papastergiadis OAM met with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Katsaniotis on Wednesday in Athens.

During the extended, numerous matters regarding Greece’s foreign policies and the activities of the Greek Community of Melbourne were discussed.

“Mr Dendias was extraordinarily friendly and interested in the activities of the GCM. He was accommodating in making the meeting happen and expressed a desire for further dialogue,” Mr Papastergiadis told Neos Kosmos.

Mr Papastergiadis highlighted the work of a number of organisations and Greek media outlets in Australia that support Greece on many of its foreign policy actions in addition to the many community groups.

Mr Papastergiadis noted that the GCM had previously lobbied the Australian Government on a number of foreign policy matters regarding Greece.

“In 2021 the GCM sent numerous letters to the Australian Government on matters including the Turkish incursions in the eastern Mediterranean, the transformation of Aghia Sofia and on the continued invasion of Cyprus,” Mr Papastergiadis said, adding that “with all of our correspondence, the then Australian Government responded in positive terms highlighting a number of points”.

“First, the Australian Government made it clear that resolutions need to be based on international laws including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Next, the Government stated that it supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus and recognises the Republic as the only legitimate authority on the island.”

Mr Papastergiadis also referred to the need for additional cooperation and deeper ties between the two countries. In that regard, he stressed the need for both countries to finalise the double taxation agreement in 2022.

Moreover, he asked for the consideration of a bilateral health agreement and to have exchanges of students and academics at university level which hopefully would involve the recognition of degrees in certain fields.

Referencing his recent discussions with federal MP Maria Vamvakinou before his departure to Greece, he shared Greek-Australian politicians’ keen desire to build stronger ties.

Mr Papastergiadis noted the support of Immigration Minister Andrew Giles on a few upcoming initiatives of the GCM and how the broader Greek community is held in general high regard by the government.

Finally, Deputy Foreign Minister Mr Katsaniotis said that he would arrange a meeting in the next week with the Greek Health Minister.

Mr Dendias thanked Bill Papastergiadis for his visit and expressed his appreciation of the focus on the activities of the GCM and referenced Greek foreign ministry initiatives which would involve ongoing support of the Greek community in Melbourne with additional programs and upgraded consular services.

- Source: Neos Kosmos