Former Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis called for American and European intervention against the Islamic State during a lecture at DEREE- The American College of Greece November 20, speaking of a “humanitarian catastrophe unseen in the region since World War Two.”
In her lecture “Developments in the Middle East and the Persecution of Christians,” Bakoyannis spoke of a mass exodus of Christians and other minorities, and of millions of people who have been killed, displaced or otherwise persecuted.
“There is a dire situation and people are in desperate need of western support. Unfortunately, western leaders remain reluctant, so soon after being burned in 2003, with the Iraq War,” she claimed.
Responding to a question from the audience after her lecture, Bakoyannis, a conservative MP and chairperson of the Committee of Political Affairs and Democracy of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), said there is a need for immediate and dynamic European and American intervention in Iraq, adding that “the military group known as Islamic State is not Islamic and of course not a state.” On the contrary, it adheres to a “doctrine of total war without limits or constraints. This makes them both difficult to deal with for liberal Western leaders and inspiring to those with sympathies for their ideals.”
She warned that IS has money and assets ranging from $900 million to $2 billion, boasts of having aggressive young fighters from Europe, the US, the Arab World and the Caucuses, and said that it must be contained, while adding that Amnesty International accuses the group of carrying out a wave of ethnic cleansing, and that the United Nations is investigating ‘acts of inhumanity on an unimaginable scale.”’
“It is time for the international community to stop this tragedy,” Bakoyannis said, adding, “But this tragedy cannot be stopped if every country just follows its own public opinion and doesn’t recognize that it’s just a matter of time before ISIS will be at our front door.”
Bakoyannis also spoke to students, faculty and other guests at DEREE’s John S. Bailey Library of the work she has done with her committee and the recommendations they have made on the situation, which have been widely adopted by the Council of Europe.
Dora Bakoyannis, who served as Greece’s foreign minister between 2006-2009, spoke at the Ag. Paraskevi campus in a lecture organized by The American College of Greece’s Institute of Diplomacy & Global Affairs in collaboration with DEREE-ACG’s School of Business.
Her late mother, Marika Mitsotaki, was awarded an honorary degree ‘Doctor of Humane Letters’ by The American College of Greece in 1991.
Andreas Andrianopoulos, the director of the Institute and a former minister of trade, welcomed Bakoyannis on campus, briefly outlining her prolific career spanning her roles as mayor of Athens, foreign minister and culture minister, and thanked her after the lecture for a very informative session.