UAE, Greece aspiring for bilateral strategic partnership based on robust foundation: Abdullah bin Zayed

UAE, Greece aspiring for bilateral strategic partnership based on robust foundation: Abdullah bin Zayed

ATHENS, 25th September, 2020 (WAM) -- H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has affirmed that the leadership of the UAE and Greece are looking forward to establishing a strategic partnership based on a solid basis of friendship and mutual respect.

The UAE top diplomat made the remarks in a joint statement following a meeting with Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias.

"I would like to thank His Excellency Nikos Dendias for our productive and important discussions today. Our meeting was an opportunity to exchange views on the most significant aspects of our growing bilateral relationship, and on regional and international issues of mutual concern to our two friendly nations. It is in the regular holding of these conversations and visits that our relationship grows even further," H.H. Sheikh Abdullah said in the joint statement.

Sheikh Abdullah added: "The UAE-Greece relations started in the year 1975, and since then the two nations have come a long way together, with the UAE seeking to grow these bilateral relations to be a model for stability and growth in the region. Today, the partnership between our two nations covers a broad spectrum of cooperation in all fields and scopes, including economics, politics, defence, culture, governance, and food security.

"The UAE and Greece both dedicated particular efforts in promoting and enhancing economic relations, resulting in an increasing level of trade between the two countries. By the end of 2019, the total trade volume of our bilateral non-oil trade had reached US$450 million. We would like to even further increase the volumes of our bilateral trade to a level that fully reflects the high potential and capability of our strong partnership."

"Our relations are not only strengthening in the fields of economics and trade," Sheikh Abdullah continues, " but also through our people-to-people ties. In 2019, more than 24 Thousand Greek tourists visited the UAE. The ever-increasing numbers of tourists travelling between our two countries is supported by a vibrant aviation sector, which included 14 weekly flights by our national carriers prior to the spread of COVID-19. We looking forward to further collaboration over the COVID-19 challenge between the two countries and the entire international community during the coming few months."

"Furthermore, the UAE is a host to more than 4 thousand Greek residents who make valuable contributions to the society and economy of their second home, the UAE. We also believe that the UAE and Greece share a common interest in safeguarding tolerance and diversity at home and abroad, and promote pluralism and moderation globally. We look forward to see these shared values materialize through a strong Greek presence in EXPO 2020 Dubai next year. We extend sincere thanks to our friends in Greece and the entire world for supporting the global event which we wish would drive further international cooperation and cultivate more ambitions after surviving the pandemic."

Sheikh Abdullah added, "In addition to our growing bilateral relations, the UAE and Greece share a deep concern towards the threat that terrorism and extremism pose to our world. We in the UAE believe there should be no compromise on the fight against the waves of terrorism and extremism that are being witnessed today. The UAE plays a pivotal role in countering extremism and terrorism both by combatting both its narrative and operations. We are looking forward to working with partners from around the world to confront this global peril.

"The UAE and Greece also share a common interest in regional stability and a peaceful and cooperative international system. The UAE appreciates Greece’s positive engagement in support of regional stability, and praises our close cooperation to address some of the region’s most intractable issues. We both see that expansionist foreign policies of some neighboring governments are a persistent source of instability in the region.

"Finally, I would like to emphasize that our aspiration of a strategic partnership stands on strong foundations and could further expand in a range of different sectors such as technology, tourism, education, healthcare, services and food security."

"Once again, I would like to thank Nikos Dendias, for our constructive discussions today. I would also like to thank the Greek people for their kind hospitality during my trip. I hope to visit Greece again in the near future, and I have strong confidence that both of our countries will continue on the path toward furthering our profound partnership thorough positive dialogue. I am also looking forward to welcoming you in you in the UAE and wish your people continuing health and security. I also wish we continue working together under the current tough circumstances to ensure the bests interests of our two peoples," Sheikh Abdullah concluded.

For his part, the Greek Foreign Minister hailed the privileged relations between the two nations and their cooperation in various domains, including the defence field.

He also commanded the support provided by the UAE for his country to help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19.

Sheikh Abdullah earlier met with the Greek foreign minister to discuss the bilateral relations between the two friendly countries in various domains, specially in areas of economy, trade, culture, technology, science, defence and food security.

The two top diplomats discussed the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and ways of reinforcing stability. They also discussed a number of issues of concern, including the situation in Libya, Yemen and Iran. The global fight against COVID-19 and the two countries' efforts to confront the fallout of the pandemic featured high during the discussions.

The Greek foreign minister hailed the recently signed peace accord by UAE and Israel and its role in ensuring stability in the region.

Sheikh Abdullah thanked his Greek counterpart for his country's efforts to cement stability and security in the region and the entire world.

The Greek foreign minister also congratulated the leadership and people of the UAE on the successful launch of Hope Probe to Mars and the operation of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, paying tribute to the prestigious stature boasted by the UAE on the regional and global stage.