ATHENS- Chinese President Xi Jinping made the following statement upon his arrival at the Athens International Airport on Sunday:
“At the invitation of President Prokopios Pavlopoulos, I am starting my state visit to the Hellenic Republic. I have brought with me the profound friendship of my people toward the people of Greece. This is the first stop of my trip to Europe and Latin America. Following a stopover on Rhodes five years ago, it gives me a surge of warm feeling to come to this country once again when the ancient and the modern blend perfectly together. Let me take the opportunity to extend on behalf of the government and people of China, warm greetings and best wishes to the government and people of Greece.
Greece is a country steeped in a time-honored history and a splendid culture. It has made an outstanding contribution to the progress of human civilization. Its government and people have overcome hardships with great resolve and enterprise to achieve new progress in socio-economic development in recent years. The Chinese people are really happy for you for all these achievements.
The Chinese and Greek cultures share a long history of friendly and mutually beneficial exchanges. Both being ancient civilizations, China and Greece support interactions and dialogue and promote the idea of different civilizations living in harmony. Our bilateral relations have grown from strength to strength in recent years, as evidenced by close high-level exchanges, deepening political trust and fruitful Belt and Road cooperation, most notably in the Piraeus port. Our close communication and coordination on major regional and international issues have not only served our common interests but also contributed to peace, stability, development and prosperity of the world.
China and Greece are both in a critical phase of development. Stronger bilateral ties and broader political cooperation are therefore in the fundamental interests of our two countries and peoples. I look forward to meeting President Pavlopoulos, Prime Minister Mitsotakis and other Greek leaders. We shall have in depth exchanges on furthering China-Greece ties under the new circumstances, draw up a blueprint for bilateral cooperation and open a new chapter in our comprehensive strategic partnership.
I am confident that the concerted efforts of both sides will make my visit a full success.”