21 February 2024

Greek PM asks India to build global ties amid wars in Ukraine and Middle East

21 February 2024

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has asked India to play a leading role in building international partnerships to meet the unprecedented challenges brought by the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East as well as changes in climate and energy security.

“We view India as one of the main pillars of stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region,” Mr Mitsotakis said after his talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

India, he said, should be a cornerstone of Europe’s foreign policy.

“This is certainly true for my country,” he added.

Mr Mitsotakis also said the war in Gaza had caused “a horrifying death toll of civilians” without a clear path to “at the moment at least to a sustainable de-escalation”.

He also said that the war in Ukraine was more than a local European affair and a brutal challenge to international stability.

“None of us can afford to sit on the sidelines,” he said.

“I am convinced that India has an important role to play. It has a voice that should be heard.”

India, which has close ties with Russia, has avoided condemning Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Modi told reporters after he met with Mr Mitsotakis that India and Greece agreed to boost ties in the defence, pharmaceutical, space and shipping sectors as they seek to double their bilateral trade by 2030 from nearly two billion dollars (£1.5bn) in 2022-23.

Mr Modi also said the two countries set up a working group to cooperate in the fields of cybersecurity, counterterrorism and maritime security.

He added that new opportunities are arising in India in defence manufacturing and that the two countries agreed to cooperate in this key sector, but did not give details.

Mr Mistotakis, who arrived in India on Tuesday, will also visit Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment hub, on Thursday.

He is accompanied by a large business delegation.

India mainly exports aluminium, organic chemicals, and iron and steel to Greece, whose exports to India include minerals, mineral oils, sulphur, aluminium foil, electrical machinery and equipment and building stones.

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