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India, Greece upgrade ties to ‘strategic partnership’

  • Published
    26th Aug, 2023

During the visit of Indian Prime Minster (PM) to Greece, both the countries has upgraded their relations to a ‘strategic partnership’ and pledged to double trade by 2030. 

Highlights of the visit:

  • According to the statement came from PM, India will expand cooperation in defence, security, infrastructure, agriculture, education and emerging technologies.
  • From now, India and Greece will have an institutional platform for dialogue between their national security advisers.
  • The two sides further decided to speedily finalize a mobility and migration partnership agreement to facilitate skilled migration.
  • Also both countries had decided to upgrade bilateral ties to a strategic partnership and agreed to expand bilateral cooperation in the political, security and economic spheres.
  • They also directed that both sides will work to double bilateral trade by 2030.

What does upgrading ‘strategic ties’ mean?

  • A 'strategic relationship', as the term suggests, involves a shared understanding between the two or more states involved on the nature of threats in the environment and the place of their collective power in helping mitigate the threats.
  • This does not amount to an ‘alliance’, meaning a deeper relationship in which the states are treaty bound to come to each other’s assistance in case of materialisation of a threat against any member state.

About Greece:

  • Greece has the longest coastline in Europe and is the southernmost country in Europe.
  • Geography: The country is divided into three geographical regions: the mainland, the islands, and Peloponnese, the peninsula south of the mainland.
  • History: Greece was ruled by foreigners for over 2,000 years beginning with the Romans conquering the Greeks in the 2nd century.
  • Then, after almost 400 years under Turkish rule, Greece won independence in 1832.
  • Other Facts:
    • Official Name: Hellenic Republic
    • Form of Government: Parliamentary republic
    • Capital: Athens
    • Language: Greek
    • Currency: Euro

India-Greece Relations:

  • Background:
    • India and Greece established diplomatic relations in May 1950. India opened its resident Embassy in Athens in March 1978.
  • On International lines:
    • In modern times, the two countries have developed a warm relationship based on a common commitment to democracy, peace and development in the world and to a social system imbued with principles of justice and equality.
    • India and Greece also share common approaches to many international issues, such as UN reforms and Cyprus.
    • Greece has consistently supported India’s core foreign policy objectives.
    • Greece participated with India in the Six-National Delhi Declaration on Nuclear Disarmament in 1985.
  • Bilateral Trade relations:
    • Bilateral trade will go up in 2017-18 due to projects, joint ventures and increasing trade.
    • The main items of Greece’s exports to India are cotton, scrap (mostly aluminium, ferrous, copper and lead), marble and granite, aluminium foils, calcium carbonate, kiwi fruits and greasywool.
  • Indian Diaspora:
    • There are about 10,000 Indian nationals living in Greece. Most of them are farm, factory or construction workers or small entrepreneurs.
    • A few Indian professionals work in multinational organizations in banking, insurance and software sectors.
    • Indians are a law-abiding community and enjoy cordial relations and goodwill of the native Greek community.

Why Relations with Greece is significant for India?

  • Geopolitical Balance: Both countries are strategically positioned at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Strengthening ties allows them to contribute to regional stability and balance in these regions.
  • Maritime Cooperation: India's 'Act East' policy aligns with Greece's focus on maritime connectivity through its Blue Growth strategy. Enhanced cooperation can boost trade, investment, and connectivity along sea routes.
  • Energy Security: Greece's role in the EastMed Gas Forum aligns with India's energy security interests. Collaborating in the energy sector can provide India with reliable sources of hydrocarbons.
  • Cultural and Historical Ties: Ancient civilizations and shared cultural heritage foster cultural exchanges, tourism, and people-to-people connections, strengthening diplomatic bonds.
  • Counterterrorism and Security: Collaboration in counterterrorism and security matters is crucial to combat transnational threats and ensure regional stability.
  • Diplomatic Support: Both countries often align in international forums, amplifying each other's voices on global issues like climate change, multilateralism, and global governance.
  • Trade and Investment: Exploring trade diversification and investment opportunities can stimulate economic growth in both countries.
  • Defence Cooperation: Military cooperation can enhance defence capabilities and exchange of expertise in areas like naval technology and cybersecurity.
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