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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-06-19

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] New envoy to UN presents credentials to Sec-Gen

  • [01] New envoy to UN presents credentials to Sec-Gen

    New York (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou) -- Greece's new permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador John Mourikis, presented his credentials on Monday to UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, to whom he also outlined Greece's positions on the FYROM name issue and the Cyprus problem.

    Ambassador Mourikis told reporters afterwards that: "I must admit that I took advantage of the occasion to refer to the Skopje name issue. I told him, and I believe that the Secretary General understood, that we have done more than our share, having entered into dialogue with Skopje with all good intentions. But the moves should not be made only by the one side, steps must also be made by the other side as well, so that a mutually acceptable solution may be found."

    "This needs to be completely understood, because no Greek government, nor parliament or the Greek people, will accept a back-down on this issue. I believe that this was absolutely understood on the part of the Secretary General, who replied that he knows the issue well. And I told him that since he knows it, that he too could help, since these talks are taking place uder the ausices of the Secretary General of the United Nations," Mourikis said.

    Regarding the Cyprus issue, the new Greek envoy to the UN said that he thanked the Secretary General "on the passing of the resolution for a six-month extension of the Peace-Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), which satisfied both Nicosia and Athens".

    Also present at the credentials ceremony was UN undersecretary-general for management Alicia Barcena Ibarra.

    Mourikis also paid a courtesy call later on Greek Orthodox Archbishop Demetrios of America, with whom he discussed matters concerning the Greek community in the US, and Greece.

    "I considered it my obligation, immediately after the presentation of my credentials to the Secretary General of the United Nations, to visit the prelate of the Holy Archdiocese of America. It was my duty and my honour," Mourikis said, adding that although the visit was purely a courtesy call, "we had the opportunity to discuss interesting matters, beginning with the more humane ones".

    Archbishop Demetrios welcomed Greece's new permanent representative to the Un with warm words, noting that "he belongs to a family with a glorious history, and not an incidental history, which he is carrying on in a wonderful way. He succeeds an eminent diplomat whom we had for years at the United Nations, Mr. Adamantios Vassilakis, but also comes with great experience, as he has served in important, key positions and in addition has special bonds with American. Consequently, he is very familiar with this environment".

    The Archbishop said the visit was a courtesy call, but also a very human one, "in the sense that we had the opportunity, almost from the first minute, to establish an atmosphere of dialogue and communication that is very substantial and warm".

    "I thanked him particularly for this, and for honouring us with his first visit after presenting his credentials to the UN Secretary General. In his person, we see an eminent diplomat, who will not only serve the interests of Greece in the best manner, but will also be an exceptional friend of the Archdiocese," Demetrios said.


    Prior to his appointment to the helm of the Greek permanent mission to the UN, John Mourikis was Ambassador to Canada from 2004, an assignment that followed his promotion in 2001 to Minister Plenipotentiary (1st Class).

    Between 2000 and 2004, Mr. Mourikis served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Director of the North America Department, prior to which he was Ambassador to Syria from 1996. In 1995, he was promoted to Minister Plenipotentiary (2nd Class) at the Greek Embassy in Cyprus, having served there as Minister since 1993.

    In 1991, Mr. Mourikis was named Minister Counsellor atthe Greek Embassy in Washington, D.C. Between 1985 and 1990, he served in the Foreign Ministerās Cabinet, during which time he was also a member of the negotiating team regarding the status of military bases in Greece ( Athens and Washington, D.C.). He previously had served, since 1982, in the Foreign Ministryās North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Department.

    Mourikis joined the Ministry in 1976 as an attach? and served in the Prime Ministerās Office until 1979, simultaneously holding a position in Greeceās Permanent Mission to the United Nations until 1982.

    He was educated at the University of Zurich, the University of Athens and the University of Paris II, and speaks English, German and French.

    Caption: Greece's new permament representative to the UN, Ambassador John Mourikis (L), presenting his credentials to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the UN headquarters in New York. (ANA-MPA/UN)

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