The Philia Forum took place for the first time in Athens, on February 11,   with the participation of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs from Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Bahrain, France and Saudi Arabia and the Minister of State for International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates. 

The Philia Forum is an initiative of the Greek government aiming to bring together countries of the East Mediterrancean that are on the same page regarding international law and economic cooperation. 

Nikos Dendias met his Saudi Arabia counterpart Faisalbin Farhan to further discuss bilateral cooperation

In the joint statement after the one-day Forum participants committed to “joint actions and initiatives in fields such as energy, innovation, digital economy, civil protection and transnational synergies”.  

They also explored possibilities for further cooperation in science, agriculture, food security, academic education and training, interfaith dialogue, culture and sports.

N. Dendias met UAE Minister of State Reem Al Hashimi ahead of the Forum to share common vision for peace and prosperity in the region

 The joint statement starts with the 7 countries reiterating their commitment to “International Law, including the UN Charter, UN Security Council Resolutions and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” to which they are all signatories 

 

On the sidelines of the PhiliaForum, MFAs of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt discussed opportunities for greater cooperation

Greece aspires to serve as a bridge between the Eastern Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf, the Balkans and the rest of Europe. 

Addressing the Forum,  the Greek Minister of Foreign AffairsNikos Dendias said the purpose of the Forum is “to create a bulwark against threats, violence, extremism, intolerance, the distortion of faith, irrationality . He rejected the idea that the Forum is “a defence alliance”  and calledotherMediterranean countries tojoin the initiative. .

N. Dendias also mentioned the Turkish-Libya memorandum on maritime zonescalling it unlawful and irrational