India, Greece working on strategic partnership
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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 conventions.

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.

PTI


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


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