ATHENS -- The relationship between Greece and the United Arab Emirates has taken on a strategic nature, improving the multi-level bilateral ties between the two countries, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Friday after a meeting with his UAE counterpart, Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Athens.
The two ministers exchanged views on the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and Turkey's recent actions, with Dendias again indicating Greece's continued commitment to dialogue with Turkey in good faith, on the basis of international law and without blackmail or threats.
He expressed hope that Turkey will adopt this approach consistently and with duration, stopping illegal actions and provocations and placing priority on dialogue. He also noted that respect for international law and the UN Law of the Sea, as well as good neighbourly relations, was an obligation and not a choice, as this was the only way to establish peace and stability in the region.
Dendias highlighted the very good level of Greece's bilateral relations with UAE and said both countries wanted to develop a strong framework of cooperation for their mutual benefit:
"Our countries agree, view the opportunities in the same way, respond to the challenges that arise in our broader region in the same way," he added. He pointed to the steps taken in bilateral economic cooperation and in adopting renewable energy sources, while noting that recent cooperation in defence will add new depth to bilateral ties.
In joint statements with his UAE counterpart, Dendias also thanked the UAE for a shipment of medical supplies sent in March, at the start of the pandemic.
Concerning their meeting, the two ministers said that this covered relations between the UAE and the EU, as well as the situation in the Middle East, Libya, the Gulf and Iran. Dendias also highlighted the UAE's important role as a country striving for stability and security in region, expressing Athens' support for the historic agreements for normalising relations between UAE, Bahrain and Israel.
The Greek minister was additionally briefed on the UAE's efforts to promote inter-faith dialogue.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on his part, said that peace and security in the region were a shared goal for Greece and the UAE, while he condemned "the actions of other countries, including neighbouring countries, that want to expand and constitude a source of danger and destabilisation in the region."
He called for closer cooperation between the two countries, noting that their ambitions were based on a common foundation of mutual respect, and a desire to further deepen cooperation with Greece in the economy, trade, health, technology, infrastructure and tourism, including a doubling of bilateral trade.