Foreign Minister Baerbock visits Greece and Turkey

Foreign Minister Baerbock and her counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu at a press conference in Istanbul

Foreign Minister Baerbock and her counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu at a press conference in Istanbul, © photothek / Leon Kuegeler

28.07.2022 - Article

This first official visit to the important NATO partners Greece and Turkey is taking place against the backdrop of Russia’s brutal war of aggression in Ukraine. Her trip to the close EU partner Greece will also focus on exchanges with refugees and commemorating the victims of Nazi atrocities.

The foreign minister in front of a wall covered with greek letters
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock at the Korai 4 Memorial Site in Athens© photothek / Leon Kuegeler

One of Germany’s closest partners in Europe: Greece

Whether in supporting Ukraine, the joint European response to Russia’s war of aggression or in the fight against the climate crisis and the acceleration of the energy transition, the German Government is working closely with Athens. Moreover, Greece is an important player particularly with respect to security in the eastern Mediterranean. Coordination on these issues will therefore also play an important role in talks with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

Foreign Minister Baerbock emphasised the following prior to her departure:

Many Germans are well acquainted with Greece as a holiday destination, but too few are aware of the truly enormous guilt that Germany brought upon itself there in the Second World War with the atrocities of the Nazi occupation. Keeping the memory of this alive is important to me – because it is vital to a good common future.

Foreign Minister Baerbock listening to people
The Foreign Minister listening to representatives of NGOs working to promote the rights of refugees at a refugee shelter in Greece.© photothek / Leon Kuegeler

A further focus will be on displacement and migration. The Foreign Minister will visit a branch of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency FRONTEX and a refugee shelter as well as hold talks with representatives of NGOs working to promote the rights of refugees.

An indispensable NATO Ally: Turkey

Turkey is more closely linked to Germany than almost any other country. Foreign Minister Baerbock will meet her counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Istanbul. Topics of discussion will include Turkey’s mediation efforts in the Black Sea, averting an even worse hunger crisis and joint plans in NATO.

Foreign Minister Baerbock also stated the following prior to her departure:

I will, of course, also address the issues in Turkey on which we have fundamental differences at times, including the military interventions in northern Syria, human rights and compliance with the country’s obligations as a member of the Council of Europe. Here, too, we must ensure that our paths start converging once again.

Furthermore, Foreign Minister Baerbock will visit the Atatürk Mausoleum in Ankara and meet representatives from civil society and the political opposition. Visits to a community centre for refugees and the Foundation for Women’s Solidarity are also planned.


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