India and Greece

Syllabus: IR

Context

India and Greece are finding new ways to revive an age-old relationship

Crux

  • Speaking after a bilateral meeting with Greece’s Prime Minister last week, Prime Minister highlighted that India-Greece bilateral relations have neither been “diminished” nor has the warmth decreased despite no Indian Prime Minister having visited Greece since 1983.
  • However, the absence of high-level contact has meant a lack of close strategic ties in the way India has with other nearby countries in Europe such as France, Spain, Italy and Cyprus.
  • To that end, PM visit, which came shortly after Mr. Mitsotakis’s re-election in June, sought to leap-frog ties.

New Strategic Partners

  • India and Greece agreed to establish a “Strategic Partnership” and announced plans for a dialogue mechanism between their National Security Advisers apart from plans for a skilled migration and mobility partnership, as well as cooperation to complete negotiations for the India-European Union (EU) Free Trade Negotiation on Connectivity partnership.
  • While connectivity between the two countries was forged by Alexander’s invasion in 326 BCE, exchanges now have been mainly predicated on tourism, trade (about $2 billion) and migration of labour, without a more comprehensive bilateral strategy at play.
  • Speaking to the Greek newspaper, Kathimerini, PM hoped that India’s ambition to become a global manufacturing hub could now be melded with Greece’s aspirations to become an “economic gateway” to the EU.
  • In addition, India and Greece, once plundered by colonial powers, have also held discussions on the restoration of artefacts. They may find common cause in pushing legislation through UNESCO to help restore some of their historical property.

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