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Greece and Saudi Arabia strengthen ‘historic’ relationship during Crown Prince’s visit




Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday evening, as the Saudi official began his two-day visit to Athens.

Meeting at Maximos Mansion in Athens, the Greek Prime Minister described it as “an opportunity to reaffirm the strength” of the two nations’ “strategic relationship.”

In a statement at the beginning of their meeting, Mitsotakis continued: “We will sign important agreements and we will have the opportunity to discuss regional developments but also how to further strengthen the important relationship between our two countries, placing particular emphasis on economic cooperation.”

Bin Salman described the relationship between Greece and Saudi Arabia as “a historic one”, adding “I believe we also have historic opportunities, many of which we are going to finalise today.”

Greece has forged close ties with Saudi Arabia in recent years as it seeks allies in the wider region to address long-standing tension with Turkey, mostly over sea boundaries and drilling rights.

The two countries are also planning a data cable link worth 800 million euros that would run under the Mediterranean Sea and be completed in 2025, AP News reported.

“By connecting the electricity grids, we can provide Greece and south-east Europe through Greece with much cheaper renewable energy and we will sign a memorandum of understanding on this today,” the Saudi official said.

“We are also concerned with hydrogen and how to turn Greece into a hub for Europe in terms of hydrogen, this is a game-changer for both countries. We are also working on the interconnection of the telecommunications network.”

Bin Salman said these works will “change the position of Greece and Saudi Arabia” and “support Europe … with much cheaper and efficient energy and renewable sources.”

The Saudi official added that the pair have “a rich agenda” for discussion, ranging from investment and trade to security.

The Crown Prince’s visit to Greece marks his first trip to a European Union country since the killing in 2018 of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul which triggered widespread international condemnation. Bin Salman has denied any involvement despite a U.S. intelligence report made public last year, saying it was likely he approved the killing.

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