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King Charles wears Greek flag tie days after British PM snubs Greek counterpart

By Simon Cullen, Max Foster and Chris Liakos, CNN

(CNN) — King Charles has worn a tie emblazoned with the Greek flag, just days after the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak canceled a meeting with his Greek counterpart in a diplomatic dispute over the Parthenon Sculptures, also known as the Elgin Marbles.

The King wore the tie while meeting world leaders – including Sunak – at the COP28 climate talks in Dubai on Friday.

A Buckingham Palace source told CNN the tie was simply one from the King’s current collection and has made other recent appearances.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was due to meet Sunak in London on Tuesday. However the meeting was abruptly canceled by Downing Street after Mitsotakis made comments during a television interview about the status of the Parthenon Sculptures, which are currently housed in the British Museum in London.

On Sunday, Mitsotakis told the BBC in an interview that the sculptures were “essentially stolen,” and that his government would continue to lobby for a deal and push for a “partnership” with the UK.

Greece has repeatedly called for the return of the sculptures, which British diplomat Lord Elgin removed from the Parthenon temple in Athens in the early 19th century, when he was ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.

The Greek prime minister said in a statement shared by his office on Monday that he was “annoyed that the British Prime Minister canceled our scheduled meeting just hours before it was due to take place,” adding that “Greece and the UK are united by traditional ties of friendship,” and that his country’s position on the Parthenon Sculptures is “well-known.”

“Whoever believes in the correctness and justice of their views, is never afraid of opposing arguments,” he added.

Charles’ father was born on the Greek island of Corfu and was named Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, before he married Queen Elizabeth II and became the Duke of Edinburgh.

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