NEW DELHI : External Affairs Minister Shri S Jaishankar on Wednesday held extensive talks with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias, covering the crisis in Ukraine, the situation in Afghanistan and exploring the possibility of enhancing the bilateral ties to the level of strategic partnership.
Both sides noted the importance of the movement of people in an orderly and legal way and signed a declaration of intent on migration and mobility.
Dendias arrived in India on Tuesday on a two-day visit.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the two countries agreed to work together to further enhance collaboration in mutually beneficial sectors such as the shipping and maritime sector, information technology, agriculture, new and renewable energy, and pharmaceuticals.
It said detailed discussions were held on the importance of keeping our oceans free and open for movement and trade and both sides underlined the need to support and adhere to the Laws of the Seas (UNCLOS).
The MEA said both sides shared views on regional and global issues of mutual interest in the context of new geopolitical and geo-economic realities. ”Developments pertaining to the European Union, Eastern Mediterranean, Afghanistan and Ukraine were discussed,” it said in a statement. It said the two sides conveyed their deep commitment to multilateralism, and a rules-based international order while reaffirming the importance of the urgent reform of the UN. ”Will work closely together on maritime issues. Benefitted from insights on the Ukraine situation, Mediterranean and the European Union,” Jaishankar tweeted.
On his part, Dendias said, ”We aspire our relation to becoming a strategic one. We see many things in a very similar way.” The MEA said discussions covered the entire gamut of bilateral relations and the two sides explored ways to further strengthen the close and friendly ties.
”The two ministers expressed hope that the 8th round of Joint Economic Committee Meeting scheduled at Athens on 15 April 2022 will provide further impetus to trade and investment ties,” it said. ”They appreciated that trade has shown a significant increase, and has crossed USD 1 billion despite the challenges posed by the pandemic,” it said. Considering their rich ancient past, the two sides agreed to continue their relationship in the field of culture and education. A cultural and educational exchange programme for the period 2022-2026 was signed during the visit.
The MEA said the Greek foreign minister handed over the Instrument of Ratification of Greece as a signatory to the framework agreement on International Solar Alliance. ”The two sides discussed the possibility of enhancement of the bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership,” the MEA said.