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Athens reaches out to Syria via Greek Orthodox community

Syria’s Greek Orthodox Christians hope the resumption of ties between Syria and Greece will help them recover from the war.
Catholic believers and clerics gather outside Greek-Melkite Patriarchal Cathedral of the Dormition of Our Lady to mark Palm Sunday in the capital Damascus in Bab Sharki, Old Damascus on April 14, 2019. (Photo by LOUAI BESHARA / AFP)        (Photo credit should read LOUAI BESHARA/AFP via Getty Images)
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The appointment this spring of Greece’s former Syrian ambassador as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' new special envoy for Syria is being viewed as a sign of Greece’s renewed geopolitical interest in its southern neighborhood and of its desire to establish a greater role in a country to which it has deep historic ties. 

According to Ioannis Grigoriadis, head of the Turkey Program at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy in Athens, the decision is part of a wider attempt to refocus on the region brought about by the escalation of tensions between Greece and Turkey. 

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