NEWS

Athens, Riyadh confirm strategic ties

Visiting Greek PM and Saudi crown prince agree to establish Supreme Council of Cooperation

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The establishment of the Supreme Council of Cooperation between Greece and Saudi Arabia was agreed Tuesday by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the successor to the throne, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, during a meeting at Al Yamamah Palace in Riyadh.

The two men also discussed the prospects of further deepening cooperation in investment, energy, tourism and defense, which Maximos Mansion has described as areas of mutual interest. In this regard, the two sides stressed the importance of the newly established Greece – Saudi Arabia Business Council.

They also discussed developments in the wider region, with Mitsotakis praising Saudi Arabia’s stabilizing regional role, while he also briefed the crown prince on Turkey’s destabilizing and counterproductive role in the region. 

According to government sources, Mitsotakis stressed that Greece is ready for dialogue that is “subject to respect for international law, sovereignty and sovereign rights,” and on the condition that Ankara refrains from “provocative actions.” 

The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Foreign Minister in charge of economic diplomacy Kostas Frangogiannis, the director of the Prime Minister’s Diplomatic Office, Ambassador Eleni Sourani, deputy government spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni and the head of the prime minister’s economic office, Alex Patelis.

For his part, the crown prince reportedly expressed Riyadh’s appreciation for deployment of a Greek Patriot anti-aircraft missile system to Saudi Arabia for its air defense. 

Apart from the missiles, 120 Hellenic Air Force personnel have also been deployed in Saudi Arabia.

In Riyadh, Mitsotakis met too with three Hellenic Air Force officers who serve as liaisons for the transfer and installation of Patriots in Saudi Arabia.

Furthermore, on the sidelines of his official two-day visit to Saudi Arabia, Mitsotakis met with the crown prince and prime minister of Bahrain, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and discussed the possibilities of cooperation in the fields of entrepreneurship and tourism, as well as recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

According to government sources, Mitsotakis referred in particular to France and the establishment of a strategic partnership, as well as the five-year renewal of the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) with the US. In addition the intention was expressed for an exchange of visits to Athens and Manama, in due course.

Mitsotakis’ engagement with the wider North Africa-Middle East region will continue on November 12, when he will attend a conference on Libya in Paris, hosted by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

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