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UK Foreign Min To Meet EU's Sefcovic Amid UK-Greece Spat


UK Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron will meet with European Commission Exec VP Maros Sefcovic later today in Brussels in their first talks since the former UK PM was appointed earlier in November. While the discussions were initially intended to act as an opportunity for the two to open a dialogue and discuss the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and Trade and Cooperation Agreement they may be overshadowed by a diplomatic spat that has erupted between the UK and Greece.

  • Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis had been in London for meetings with senior politicians, including PM Rishi Sunak. However, comments made by Mitsotakis in a TV interview regarding the contested ownership of the Elgin/Parthenon Marbles saw Sunak cancel their planned talks, with Deputy PM Oliver Dowden set to step in.
  • Mitsotakis refused the meeting, with a gov't spox stating that the move is “unprecedented” and “disrespectful.”
  • Figures within UK gov't argued that Mistotakis meeting opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer before PM Sunak was also a disrespectful move.
  • The Guardianraises the pointthat the spat comes at an inopportune time for the UK and EU as they seek to improve relations, with Lord Cameron seen as the most pro-EU UK foreign minister in many years. It reports a senior EU official stating, “If you want to be global Britain, open to the world, based on international values and diplomacy, you don’t just stop talking with friends because of an issue that has been around for 200 years. Not engaging is a problem.”

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