Foreign ministers from EU, Arab, Gulf states meeting in Athens Thursday

Foreign ministers from EU, Arab, Gulf states meeting in Athens Thursday

The Foreign Ministers of at least four Mediterranean Arab and Gulf states and two European countries will participate in the first meeting dubbed “Friendship Forum,” to be held in Athens on Thursday.

The forum is an opportunity to develop cross-border cooperation between the participating countries in various fields, starting with the fight against the pandemic, but also covering the economy, energy, tourism, transport, civil protection, and digital governance, Greek diplomatic sources said Wednesday.

The meeting will include the foreign ministers of Greece and Cyprus, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. France, Iraq and Jordan have also been invited to participate, the Greek ministry said in a statement.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will address the conference at 11.15 in the morning, while statements to the press will follow at the conclusion of the conference ca. 1.35 p.m.

On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias received his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry at the ministry, ahead of Thursday's conference. The two ministers reportedly discussed a broader regional collaboration and promoting stability.

Visiting Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud will meet with Mitsotakis at 3.30 p.m. on Thursday.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will be attending via teleconference, the same sources said.

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