India, Greece working on strategic partnership

Last Updated: Monday, September 26, 2011 - 19:23

Washington: India and Greece are working on
a strategic partnership and the two nations have agreed to
enhance their co-operation on counter-terrorism and piracy in
the Indian Ocean, officials said.

In a meeting here last week on the sidelines of the
annual meeting of the IMF and the World Bank, Finance Minister
Pranab Mukherjee and his Greece counterpart Evangelos
Venizelos discussed a wide range of bilateral and global
issues including the current economic crisis in Europe.

There is a great deal of understanding between the two
countries which gives a solid base to work towards a Strategic
Partnership based on shared values of democratic governance,
rule of law and convergence of common interests, Mukherjee is
understood to have told Venizelos.

It is believed that the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs
is currently preparing a draft Strategic Partnership Agreement
which would soon be forwarded to India.

Strategically located in the Eastern Mediterranean and
the Balkans, Greece is an active member of NATO and EU and
influential player in the region.

It sees India as a factor of stability in the region and
a rising global power fit to be a permanent member of an
expanded UNSC with which it seeks greater interaction,
officials said.

Informing the steps being taken by India in its fight
against terrorism, Mukherjee is understood to have told
Venizelos that New Delhi is committed to full implementation
of the UN Counter-Terrorism regime including the Global
Counter-Terrorism Strategy as well as counter-terrorism

It is important to conclude the Comprehensive Convention
on International Terrorism to strengthen the international
legal framework against terrorism, Mukherjee said, adding that
the two countries must work towards the early conclusion of
this Convention.

Notably, the Indian Navy is extending cooperation to
Greek Merchant vessels which have been a target of maritime
pirates in the Indian Ocean.

Greece, in fact, is also a victim of home-grown terrorism
and fears international terrorism entering its borders.

Venizelos is understood to have briefed Mukherjee on the
reform process in Greece about the structural reforms being
undertaken tackle the sovereign debt crisis.

Greece has been undertaking comprehensive economic
reforms which have adversely affected all sections of its
society, especially the middle and the low income groups.

Mukherjee is believed to have told Venizelos that the two
countries share warm political relations and a deep commitment
to our common values of democracy, freedom and rule of law.
He appreciated Greece`s support for India`s membership of
the UN Security Council, both in the permanent and
non-permanent category and for Greece`s recent support for the
G4 short resolution on UNSC reforms.


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First Published: Monday, September 26, 2011 - 19:23

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