Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Athens on Friday (August 25) for his day-long visit to Greece, marking the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Greece in 40 years.
PM Modi received a ceremonial welcome upon arrival in Athens. Further, while sharing a few glimpses of the resounding welcome he received by the Indian community in Greece, PM Modi said, “Amidst the historic landscapes of Greece, the warmth and hospitality of the Indian community shines brightly.” PM Modi commenced his visit to Greece by paying tribute at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier in Athens.
Giving details about PM Modi’s bilateral engagements in Greece, Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, “A packed day of engagements lies ahead in Athens. PM Modi will meet the President of Greece and then hold talks with the Prime Minister of Greece. He will also meet the business leaders from both sides.”
In recent years, relations between both countries have strengthened through cooperation in areas like maritime transport, defence, trade, investments, and people-to-people ties.
As informed by MEA, both countries will look to expand and diversify the trade and investment segment of cooperation, deepen and expand the defence and security partnership, infrastructure cooperation, and shipbuilding industry, among others.
Alongside their historical civilisational links, Greece is one of India’s most significant European partners and instrumental to India’s growing trade with Europe. As mentioned by Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, “Greece is one of India’s important European partners, is a member of the EU, of NATO, and a gateway to Europe and also to the EU market, and enjoys a privileged position at the crossroads of Asia, Europe, and Africa.”
Diplomatically, both nations have engaged in high-level visits, showcasing their willingness to deepen ties. Previous high-level exchanges between the two countries include a visit by former Presidents of India, late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and former President Ram Nath Kovind, in June 2018. The Greek President had also paid a state visit to India in 1998, and the then Greek Prime Minister had visited India in 2008.
It is noteworthy that Greece has also been a strong supporter and partner with India on issues of core interest to the UN and other international organisations, including showing their support for a permanent membership in the expanded UN Security Council.