This is the first foreign minister-level visit from India to Greece in the last 17 years
EAM S Jaishankar with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias
India and Greece have held discussions over the situation in Cyprus during the visit of External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar to Athens. The Ministry of External Affairs said both sides emphasised upon respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity by all members of the international community.
“Both sides discussed the recent developments pertaining to the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus and Libya. They agreed that the rule of law and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity are fundamental principles of international relations and must be observed by all,” said a joint press release issued by the MEA on the discussions that Mr. Jaishankar has held with his counterpart Nikos Dendias.
The condition in nearby Republic of Cyprus has become tense in the backdrop of Ankara’s plan to mark the anniversary of 1974 invasion of the island by Turkish forces. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to visit Northern Cyprus, also known as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, on July 20 to celebrate the birth of the northern Turkish Cypriot entity. The visit has drawn opposition from the Republic of Cyprus as well as from the EU that has urged him to avoid escalating tension in the region.
The reference to Cyprus and principles of international relations in MEA’s statement indirectly refer to the role of Turkey concerning several issues that are relevant to India and Greece.
Turkey has refused to tow the Indian line on issues like Kashmir and has emerged as one of the frontrunners in managing the emerging situation in Afghanistan. It has repeatedly supported the Pakistani position on Kashmir drawing strong protest from India.
Mr. Dendias signed and handed over the Agreement on the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to the visiting side. “Both sides agreed that this will assist the two countries in realisation of the energy goals set by the respective governments to make renewable energy and significant part of the energy supply,” said the MEA.
Both countries discussed the need to work towards an agreement that will allow orderly and legal ways of migration and mobility in the globalised world. The pandemic and the threat posed by radicalisation and terrorism also featured in the talks.