ATHENS — The promotion of bilateral relations between Greece and India and the prospects of establishing strategic cooperation in areas of mutual interest were discussed in a meeting on Saturday between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and visiting Indian Minister of External Affairs, Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. During the meeting, they emphasised the importance that both Greece and India attach to international law, the law of the sea and the principles of the United Nations.
The prime minister said that Greece considers relations with India to be of great importance and they also confirmed the excellent level of bilateral relations.
Mitsotakis said noted that, while Greece puts great emphasis on relations with India, they have not been particularly well developed in the past "which increases expectations for the future."
"India is a country that I have personally visited many times. I have the greatest admiration for the world's largest democracy," he added, noting that Greece and India were both countries with civilisations that stretched back many centuries.
"As regards economic cooperation, Greece would be a natural point of entry for Indian businesses into the European market. There are, therefore, many things to discuss," he said, while also expressing his satisfaction at the unveiling of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Athens.
Jaishankar conveyed the greetings of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and agreed that relations between Greece and India were good but "not ambitious" and that there were many more things that could be done in this regard.
He said that the bilateral connection between Greece and India was one aspect but a broader framework was India's relationship with the EU, which was making progress as a whole.
"You are an important member-state with the influence, I should say, to support us within the EU. At the same time, you are also, in many ways, a meeting point between many of our relations in Eastern Europe and Russia on the one hand and the EU on the other hand," he said.
"We have a strong interest in the Gulf and the Middle East. Examining all this strategically, I would say there are many, many aspects of this relationship that we must explore more fully and I hope that during my stay we will be able to achieve this," he added.
During the meeting, there was a discussion on the prospects of establishing strategic cooperation in an area of mutual interest that the two countries will choose in order to give a new boost to bilateral relations. In addition, they announced that Greece will join the International Solar Alliance, an Indian initiative.
Mitsotakis referred to the ISA's contribution to exploiting solar energy and India's role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, as well as Greece's candidacy for the Security Council in 2025-2026.
The meeting was also attended by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, the head of the prime minister's diplomatic office Ambassador Eleni Sourani and government spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni.