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Friday, October 5, 2018

Statements of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Terence Quick, following his meetings in Nicosia with the Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Christodoulides and the Presidential Commissioner, Fotis Fotiou (Nicosia, 2.10.2018)

The international celebration of the Greek language on 9 February 2019, the spread and bolstering of philhellenism, and the upcoming activities of the trilateral cooperation of Greece-Cyprus with Egypt and Armenia were the main issues discussed during the meeting which took place between the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Terence Quick, and the Presidential Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus, Fotis Fotiou. This was followed by a meeting of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs with the Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Christodoulides. As Mr. Quick stated: "With my counterpart, Mr Fotiou, we decided to begin the preparations, with the assistance of the Ministries of Education and Culture, in order to celebrate Greek Language Day internationally, on 9 February, in every country where even the smallest Greek Diaspora Community can be found. We even said that it would be useful, with the help of our Diplomatic Authorities, to hold events on the Greek language and culture, even in countries where there is no Greek Diaspora, where we could help spread the spirit of Philhellenism.We considered planning a large event on the Greek Language in Athens, on 9 February, proposing that it be placed under the patronage of the Presidents of the two Republics, Mr Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Mr Nikos Anastasiades.”The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs underscored that the preparations for the next transnational meeting on Diaspora issues which is scheduled to take place on 15-17 October in Yerevan are progressing normally, as is “NOSTOS II” of the trilateral cooperation between Greece-Cyprus-Egypt which, as it has already been announced, will be taking place in London. During the two-day events, besides the feelings of nostalgia for the motherlands felt by those belonging to the Diaspora, we will pay tribute to the very high level of scientific expertise of Greek, Cypriot, and Egyptian doctors who not only offer their services to the British Health System, but whose names also garner worldwide respect. “They are very important ambassadors for their homelands,” stated the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Terence Quick, and he added: “In addition, we will hold meetings with the corresponding Friendship groups of the British Parliament, as well as a large event for the promotion of our homelands as tourist destinations, with the help of our Greek Diaspora Organizations, but also with each person belonging to the Greek diaspora individually. Particularly on the issue of Greek Tourism and the Greek Diaspora, we have already begun talks with my colleague, Mrs. Elena Kountoura. The point is not just to have Greeks coming on holiday with their Greek neighbours, from whichever part of the world where they may reside, but for them to also bring along their American, Australian, Canadian, or European neighbour.And in fact, Elena is preparing a very imaginative title: "Bring a friend along from the land where you live." The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs' meeting with the Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Christodoulides, in the presence of the Presidential Commissioner, Fotis Fotiou, and the Greek Ambassador of Nicosia, Ilias Fotopoulos, focused on the trilateral cooperation on Diaspora issues, with actions planned until September 2019. As Mr. Quick stated: "The Diaspora communities can play a very important role in strengthening relations between our homelands and other third countries.” The instructions of our Foreign Ministers help us a great deal and, as regards me personally, so do those of my Minister, Mr Nikos Kotzias since, within the context of their excellent cooperation, they keep an open line of communication. To date, during these two years of excellent cooperation with our friend Fotis Fotiou, which is based also on the bilateral Agreement we concluded when I took on my duties, we have carried out so many actions to make up for all the previous decades of non-action between Greece and Cyprus on Diaspora issues.