Greece’s Foreign Minister meets with GCM President and Archbishop Makarios of Australia

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Greek Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias, has met separately with Archbishop Makarios of Australia and the President of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM), Bill Papastergiadis, at his offices in Athens, Greece.

Both meetings were held in the presence of Greece’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Andreas Katsaniotis.

According to a Twitter post, Dendias’ meeting with Mr Papastergiadis focused on the GCM’s activities and the Greek Foreign Ministry’s initiatives “for ongoing support of the Greek community with programmes and upgraded consular services.”

“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 said in a press release.

The GCM President also stressed that he spoke to Dendias about the need additional cooperation and deeper ties between Greece and Australia.

In that regard, Mr Papastergiadis referred to the need for both countries to finalise the double taxation agreement in 2022. Bill also asked for 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.

Mr Papastergiadis’ meeting with Dendias comes after the GCM President also met with Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Secretary General for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy, John Chrysoulakis, and Greek Culture Minister, Lina Mendoni, in Greece earlier this year.

Archbishop Makarios meets with Nikos Dendias.

In his separate meeting with Archbishop Makarios, Dendias discussed “the precious spiritual work of the Archdiocese and its contribution in strengthening relations with the Greek diaspora in Australia.”

Archbishop Makarios has been in Greece this month and recently paid an official visit to the Greek island of Kastellorizo on Friday, September 2.

During the three day visit, Archbishop Makarios celebrated the marriage of a Greek Australian couple and connected with the over 200 Australians of Kastellorizian heritage who are currently on the island.

The Archbishop also met with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Constantinople in August.

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