Athens is attaching great importance to the forthcoming visit of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Greece, as it sees his arrival as a step in confirming the strategic relationship between Athens and Riyadh.
The crown prince will be in Athens on Tuesday and Wednesday, after two consecutive postponements of his visit in the previous period. The heir to the Saudi throne will meet with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday at the Maximos Mansion.
Government sources note that the visit of the crown prince to Greece is the first on European soil after more than four years since he traveled to Paris in April 2018.
The same sources also noted that Greece has reinforced Saudi Arabia’s air defense with a Patriot artillery battery, something for which Riyadh has expressed its appreciation.
The source also stressed that during Mitsotakis’ last visit to Riyadh, an agreement was struck to establish a high council of cooperation between Greece and Saudi Arabia.
The two leaders plan to adopt a joint declaration that will reaffirm the strategic relationship between Greece and Saudi Arabia, as well as the Greek government’s choice to build alliances with Gulf countries.
Mohammed bin Salman will be accompanied by a large government delegation with the aim of signing agreements in the fields of defense, investment and culture.
Tellingly, Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos will sign a defense cooperation agreement with his counterpart, extending the already very good relations in this area.
Contacts between representatives of the business world will also be made on the sidelines of the government-level contacts, as the crown prince will be accompanied by several people who have shown interest in working with their Greek counterparts.
The Greece-Saudi Arabia Business Council has become more active recently. A joint project between the two countries for the creation of a data cable is cited by the government as emblematic as it will turn Greece into a regional digital hub between Europe and Asia.