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Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ statement to Greek journalists following his meetings in Saudi Arabia (Riyadh, 20 April 2021)
JOURNALIST: Minister, you completed a round of meetings here in Saudi Arabia and signed two agreements. How important was this visit for the next steps in the relations between the two countries?
N. DENDIAS: I think today’s visit – mine and that of the Defence Minister, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos – to Saudi Arabia, to Riyadh and Jeddah, was an important one.
First of all, we signed an agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council, which both sides pursued for a long time. And we signed an agreement for the deployment of a Patriot battery here in Saudi Arabia.
I think this constitutes a major progress for our country in terms of cooperation with the Gulf countries and of our contribution to the broader security of Western energy sources. I think Greek foreign policy, a main focus of which is strengthening ties between our country and Gulf countries, took another step forward.
JOURNALIST: Minister, here in Saudi Arabia today, we see the Emirates taking part in the Iniochos military exercise – two major traditional powers of the Gulf and the Arab World in the Mediterranean. How important is this to the balance of power in the region and the general messages it sends?
N. DENDIAS: We do not see it as a matter of balance. We see it as the creation of a front of understanding on the solid foundation of international law. All countries in the wider region, without exception, that subscribe to international law as a means of understanding and a way of conduct are welcome in this broader understanding we are trying to create. And which, as you said, has produced tangible evidence of success.