| Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy

Roundtable discussion: ‘Greece and Iraq: Prospects for an active relationship’, 14/05/2013

Οn  14 May 2013 the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Athens in collaboration with the Middle East Research Program of ELIAMEP organised a conference on ‘Greece and Iraq: Prospects for an active relationship.’ The event began with the introductory statements of the Ambassador of Iraq Mr. Borhan Jaf, the ELIAMEP Director General Dr. Thanos Dokos and Head of the Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Parliament, Mr. Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, who expressed the readiness of both sides to establish a more active relationship.

The first part of the event, chaired by Dr. Thanos Dokos, ELIAMEP Director General, was related to geopolitical security. The keynote speaker was President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Iraqi Parliament, Dr. Sheikh. Homan Hamoudi, who highlighted the stabilising role of Iraq for the region and urged Greece to co-operate in  many fields. In other presentations, Dr. Salman al Jomaili, Vice President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Iraqi parliament, encouraged the two sides for a closer diplomatic co-operation. Ambassador Alaal-Hashemi, Head of the European Directorate of the Iraqi Foreign Ministry noted the transitional period for the two countries in economic terms while Dr. Thanos Dokos presented the geopolitical context of the Middle East in view of Greek-Iraqi cooperation.

The second part of the event, chaired by Dr. Evangelos Venetis, Head of Middle East Research Project of ELIAMEP, related to bilateral cultural cooperation. Dr. Fawzi al Atroushi, Deputy Minister of Culture of Iraq, emphasised the efforts ofIraqto become a cultural capital and hub internationally. In this context he called on Greece to play an active role. Dr. Mina Moritou, Head of the Islamic Art Collection at the Benaki Museum, presented artifacts of the Benaki Islamic collection coming from Iraq. Mr. Qais Hossein Rashid, General Secretary of the Iraqi Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, expressed his interest for the development of bilateral tourism relations in an archaeological context. Finally,. Dr. Constantine Copanias, Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Athens, discussed results of his excavations in northernI raq.

The conference offered the possibility of contacts and exchanges of views between the two sides to develop and strengthen bilateral relations in such volatile geopolitical regions as the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean. The two sides pledged to implement proposals in this direction

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