Athens, 13th September, 2012. Secretary General Sijilmassi held yesterday bilateral meetings with the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dimitris L. Avramopoulos, and the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister, Dimitris Kourkoulas. During the working sessions, Mr Sijilmassi briefed them on the mission of the UfM highlighting the work and recent activities achieved by the Secretariat.
Foreign Affairs Minister Avramopoulos expressed his political support to the Union for the Mediterranean and stressed on the need to strengthen cooperation between Greece and the UfM Secretariat, especially in sectors of special interest for Greece, namely renewable energies, environment and water, tourism, and maritime transport. He said: “The UfM is a very important organization which gathers 43 country members around the table in an effort to build on dialog and bring socio-economic development and prosperity to all the countries of the region”. And he continued: “We agree with Secretary General Sijilmassi to establish an on-going cooperation and to develop joint initiatives from this moment and also under the Greek Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which will begin on 1st January 2014. The Mediterranean region will be the heart of our activities and the top of our list of priorities.”
From his side, Mr Sijilmassi described Greece as a country of strategic importance in the Mediterranean region and added: “It was a great pleasure to have this fruitful working session with the Greek authorities. It is very important that at this political and economic momentum we share ideas and work together to achieve concrete projects in terms of regional cooperation, regional partnerships, and regional integration within this area and within the rest of the Mediterranean region”.