Greece backs India for UNSC permanent membership

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias noted that the old powers are declining while a new balance of power is emerging with countries like India and China.

Published: 28th November 2017 01:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th November 2017 01:42 AM   |  A+A-

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias (Photo | Twitter/Raveesh Kumar)


NEW DELHI: Greece on Monday said it supported India in its bid for permanent membership in the UN Security Council though not the others in the G4 group.

"We fully support India for the UN Council, but not other proposed countries," Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said while replying to a question after delivering a special address on "Greece as a pillar of stability in southeastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean", organised by the Observer Research Foundation think tank and the Greek Embassy in India.

The G4 nations seeking UNSC permanent membership also comprise Japan, Germany and Brazil.

Kotzias noted that the old powers are declining while a new balance of power is emerging with countries like India and China.

"It is a transformation time and a difficult time" with forces of fundamentalism and terrorism trying to destabilise the world, he said.

He said for countries like India, it is in fact a coming back into top economies of the world, as it used to share a dominant part of the GDP before colonisation, accounting for nearly one-third of the world's GDP.

The Minister said Greece and India could play specific roles for stabilisation in West Asia and also the eastern Mediterranean region.

Kotzias said Greece was working with the policy of five lines of stabilisation in the region, with special focus on Egypt, Israel and Jordan to achieve it.

Earlier in the day, India and Greece signed two agreements on air services and new and renewable energy folloiwng bilateral talk between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Kotzias.

"The two Ministers held discussions on various aspects of bilateral ties as well as important regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest," the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

"The discussions between the two Ministers focused on building closer cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, trade fairs, agriculture, maritime sector, culture and tourism," it stated.

"During the visit, the two Ministers signed the air services agreement and a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of new and renewable energy."

Ties between Indians and Greece in the spheres of trade, art and culture go back to historical times.

India and Greece enjoy close bilateral relations and annual bilateral trade stands at of $0.50 billion.

Indian companies have established their presence in infrastructure, pharmaceuticals and steel sectors in Greece while Greek companies are present in the fields of IT and construction in India.

"The sectors such as agriculture, shipping and tourism also offer scope for cooperation," the External Affairs Ministry statement said.


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