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PM Modi lands in Greece for first prime ministerial visit in 40 years

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Greece to hold talks with top leadership; Indira Gandhi was the last Indian leader to visit the country in 1983

PM Modi

Photo: PTI

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Greece on Friday for talks with the country's top leadership to strengthen bilateral ties.

Modi arrived in Athens from South Africa, where he attended the 15th Brics Summit. His arrival in Greece follows the invitation of Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Modi said, "I have the honour to be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Greece after 40 years."

First trip in 40 years

Prime Minister Modi will also interact with the Indian diaspora in Athens, which has a sizeable Indian population of 13,000-14,000.

Modi's visit to Greece is the first by an Indian prime minister in 40 years. Indira Gandhi was the last Indian leader to visit the country in 1983.

Modi's visit comes after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited Greece in 2021 and revived ties between the two countries.

It was then that Greece had signed the Framework Agreement to the International Solar Alliance and extended support to India on the missile technology control regime agreement.

Before this, former Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou had visited India three times — in November 1984 for Indira Gandhi's funeral, in January 1985 for a summit on nuclear disarmament, and in January 1986 as the chief guest for India's Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi.

An opportunity to upgrade old friendship, says Greek Ambassador to India

Greek Ambassador to India Dimitrios Ioannou said during Modi's visit, the two countries will upgrade their long friendship.

"We are very happy to welcome him. This will be the first visit of an Indian Prime Minister after 40 years. During this visit, we will upgrade our long friendship..." Ioannou said.

He added, "We (India and Greece) are advancing our cooperation in all important fields including security, culture, trade, economy and technology. This is an important comprehensive partnership... We would like to be the gateway to Europe for India. Our ports can be a gateway for Indian products to enter the European markets..."

PM Modi's full agenda

During his visit, Modi will meet his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis and President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

He is also scheduled to interact with business leaders from both countries and hold interactions with the Indian community in Greece.

Following this, he will attend a business lunch hosted by the Greek PM. Modi will also lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Athens. 

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First Published: Aug 25 2023 | 11:37 AM IST

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