In Athens, UN's Ban meets Greek PM

UN secretary-general expresses gratitude for the efforts of Greece and the Greek people in aiding refugees

In Athens, UN's Ban meets Greek PM

World Bulletin / News Desk

Meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Saturday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon expressed gratitude for what he said the solidarity and compassion the Greek people have shown in the recent refugee crisis. 

"You come at a particularly critical moment for peace, stability, and security in the wider region," said Tsipras, welcoming Ban at the Maximos Mansion. 

The United Nations’ role is particularly critical for protecting international law and ensuring peace and stability, for the Syrian crisis and its huge refugee flows, and also for the crisis in Libya and efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, added Tsipras.

The Mediterranean island has been divided since Turkish troops intervened in 1974 in response to a Greek Cypriot coup seeking union with Greece and violence threatening the Turkish population of the island. 

"I think the UN plays an important role in this direction," said Tsipras, adding, "My country spent the past year, apart from the economic crisis of the last six years, on an unexpected humanitarian crisis due to refugee flows." 

Thanks to the recent EU-Turkey deal, said Tsipras, refugee flows have dropped drastically, thus eliminating the daily deaths of people in the Aegean Sea. 

He added that he hopes joint efforts will help maintain the agreement so as to protect human rights, stem human trafficking, and stop this "macabre story of innocent human deaths".

 Ban, for his part, said, "I am honored to be here for the second time in this country. I am here to express my gratitude for the efforts of Greece, for the efforts of the Greek people, for their generosity, and for the fact that it was able to aid and stand up for a lot of people." 

Ban called Greece "a major partner of the UN," and added, "We appreciate your contribution to regional security and we also believe that your help in various task forces was great. We rely on your help." 

"At present we have challenges in Syria, we see the continuing crisis in this country. We have to discuss how we can obstruct the continuation of such situations and how to bring a political solution to the Syrian crisis – as well as in the Middle East," he said. 

After visiting Tsipras, Ban proceeded to the island of Lesbos, which has been at the forefront of Greece's refugee crisis.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Haziran 2016, 15:56