Greek Foreign Ministry promises to develop a plan to protect Hagia Sophia

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. Photo:

The Greek Foreign Ministry, together with the Culture Ministry, decided to set up a working group to develop a specific action plan on the protection of Hagia Sophia.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Culture Minister Lina Mendoni agreed to set up a working group, which will propose within ten days a specific action plan on the issue of Hagia Sophia that will be implemented in the near future, reports the Internet resource “The Orthodox Times”.

The meeting of the two Greek ministers was attended by the UNESCO Ambassador for Greece, Maria Diamantopoulou, the President of the Hellenic National Committee for UNESCO, Aikaterini Tzitzikosta, and other officials.

The Greek Foreign Minister stated after the meeting that they have repeatedly stressed that the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque does not constitute a Greek-Turkish dispute. So, they have decided to raise the issue through international initiatives, talking to all the International organizations, with UNESCO being the leading organization.

“Our goal is to protect this monument that has universal value. Besides, it has been registered as such in UNESCO. The universality of the Hagia Sophia monument was highlighted by the reactions of the international community. We want, therefore, to create an umbrella of specific actions, which will strive for the effective protection of this centuries-old monument,” stressed Nikos Dendias.

On her part, the Minister of Culture stated that the issue of Hagia Sophia is not an issue that concerns the two countries, that is, Greece and Turkey.

“Hagia Sophia is one of the most important human creations, it is one of the most important monuments, which is the epitome of many ecumenical values. It is these universal values that are in danger of being lost from the conversion of the monument into a religious mosque. I believe that the level of discussion was such that it creates prospects for the Greek government as a whole to deal with this issue in the international community,” resumed Culture Minister Lina Mendoni.

Earlier, the Greek Foreign Minister discussed the issue of the Hagia Sophia with the US Ambassador to Athens Geoffrey Pyatt.

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