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Greek PM says ‘unfortunate incident’ will not affect Greece-UK ties

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday described the abrupt cancellation of his planned meeting with UK counterpart Rishi Sunak in London as an “unfortunate incident.” Despite this, he expressed confidence that it would not have any impact on bilateral ties.

“This unfortunate incident… will not affect Greek-British relations. It had a positive aspect, as our just request for the reunification of the sculptures gained even greater publicity,” he said during a meeting with President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

In response, President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou voiced confidence in Greece’s cause, stating, “The reunification of the sculptures, a request made since the establishment of the [modern Greek] state, has garnered understanding from the international community and the British public, marking a significant gain. The just demand of our country will find a response.”

Contrary to statements from British officials, sources in Athens have suggested that the sudden cancellation of the meeting was not a result of an alleged “agreement” between the two sides not to discuss the Parthenon Sculptures issue. Instead, it was largely driven by political expediency.