Celebrating a century old relationship between Ethiopia and Greece

Nikolaos Ch. Patakias, Ambassador of Greece to Ethiopia

This year marks a century old diplomatic relationship between Ethiopia and Greece. With Samuel Getachew of The Reporter, the ambassador of Greece, Nikolaos Ch. Patakias reflects on the importance of the relationship, the historic mutual journey of both nations, on supporting Tedros Adhanom’s (PhD) historic attempt to lead the World Health Organization, on why it was a “dream” for him to come to Ethiopia as a representative of Greece. Excerpts:

The Reporter: You have been in Ethiopia for two years. You were said to be excited when you were assigned to the country. What were some of the highlights?

Nikolaos Ch. Patakias: Yes, it’s true. I was really excited to be assigned as Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic (Greece) to Ethiopia two years ago. In reality, it’s not my first time in this wonderful country. I was here five years ago for six months as a councilor of our Embassy, which gave me the opportunity to know Ethiopia, Ethiopians and the Greek Community here and to like them all very much. In addition, I saw a great potential for development of our bilateral relations. That’s why I had a dream to come back again in your country as ambassador.

My first very touching moment as ambassador was when I met for the first time the president of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Mulatu Teshome (PhD), to present him my credentials. I was trying to explain to him the close relationship between out nations, but he surprised me by telling me that I was completely wrong, only to explain to me afterwards that we are not very good friends, but beloved brothers. I was touched and have kept those words close to my heart as I started my journey as ambassador.

Greek Orthodox Church in Addis Ababa

Ethiopia and Greece are celebrating a century of diplomatic relationship this year. I want you to reflect on the importance of that relationship?

This year we are celebrating a centennial, a whole century of diplomatic relations between our two sister countries (1917-2017). Back in 1917, Ethiopia was not Africa’s diplomatic capital, as it is today. At that moment, one could count the number of the Embassies here with his two hands. Then, a country, far in geographical terms but very close to the Ethiopian heart, chose to be the eighth to open a diplomatic representation in the New Flower. That country was Greece. This did not happen by chance and evidently shows the importance my country attaches to her relations with Ethiopia.

Read more at: The Reporter