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Diplomatic Row Worsens as UK Prime Minister Cancels Meeting with Greek PM over Parthenon Sculptures Dispute

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Emmanuel Abara Benson
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Diplomatic Row Worsens as UK Prime Minister Cancels Meeting with Greek PM over Parthenon Sculptures Dispute

In an unexpected diplomatic turn of events, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has stirred up controversy by cancelling a scheduled meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The cancellation occurred shortly before the meeting was due to take place, with Mitsotakis already in the UK.

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The source of Sunak's reported displeasure appears to be Mitsotakis' comments during a BBC interview on the contentious issue of the Parthenon Sculptures. Mitsotakis referred to the sculptures, held by the British Museum, as 'stolen' and asserted the necessity of their return to Athens.

Political Motives?

Analysts from reputable media outlets such as the BBC and Financial Times have hinted that political expediency in view of upcoming UK elections could be the hidden reason behind Sunak's decision. The Greek government, however, has pinned the responsibility of the cancellation on Sunak himself.

The Fallout

Prime Minister Mitsotakis has expressed his irritation at the discourteous manner of the cancellation. In response, Downing Street issued a terse statement without any reference to the Parthenon Sculptures issue. Sky News has also reported ongoing debates about the potential shift in British public opinion towards the return of the sculptures and the related dispute.

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