Greece is planning two new international-level initiatives after the conference on “Religious and Cultural Pluralism and Peaceful Coexistence in the Middle East” held in Athens, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias announced on Tuesday, at a presser formally wrapping up the work of the two-day international conference.
Kotzias said that the first initiative will concern Greece's proposal for a discussion on the values that will underpin Europe in the future. The second will be for a general secretariat of the 'cultural' GS 10 - the greatest countries on a cultural basis - in order to highlight the role of culture as a 'soft' foreign policy force strengthened by that of tourism. So far, he added, a number of countries from China to Mexico had agreed with this initiative.
Kotzias said the two initiatives will follow the creation of an Athens-based Observatory to protect religious and cultural pluralism announced during the two-day conference.
On the issue of cooperation with Turkey, he said there could be understanding and coordination on a ministerial level for the readmission of migrants on the basis of a never-implemented Greek-Turkish protocol signed in 2001. He also indicated that Greece wants to work with Turkey and Bulgaria on a political solution to end the war in Syria and prevent the destabilisation of Lebanon and Jordan, as well as protecting Egypt.
Finally, he noted the need for more European money to be spent on Syrian refugee camps, where budgets had been cut to 13 dollars a month per family.