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Sunak cancels meeting with Mitsotakis in London

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed his annoyance on Monday evening over the last-minute cancellation of his meeting in London with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

“I express my annoyance at the fact that the British prime minister canceled our scheduled meeting a few hours before it was due to take place,” the prime minister said. “Greece and Britain are united by traditional ties of friendship and the framework of our bilateral relations is extremely broad,” he added.

Referring to the Parthenon Sculptures, Mitsotakis said he had hoped to have the opportunity to discuss them with Sunak, along with the situations in Gaza and Ukraine, the climate crisis and migration.

Government sources told Kathimerini that the meeting was canceled because Sunak was irked by the views expressed by the Greek premier on the return of the Marbles. “We will continue to promote the positions as we consistently do. Ultimately, the negotiation is with the British Museum,” the same sources said.

Earlier, Downing Street said Sunak ruled out any plan to return the sculptures. Number 10 said the British Museum was the “right place” for the treasures.

Mitsotakis did meet with Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer at the Greek embassy, with whom he discussed closer cooperation on issues of broader European security, migration, and actions against the climate crisis, as well as the contribution of UK’s Greek communities to British society.