Greek PM, Chinese leader discuss energy

Energy-sector matters were included on the agenda during a meeting between Greece’s Prime Minister, Mr. Antonis Samaras, and the Chinese president Xi Jinping on the Greek island of Rhodes.

The two leaders, who were joined by Greek ministers, discussed numerous subjects, including energy, infrastructure, and tourism.

Mr. Samaras underlined what he described as being a deep friendship between the two nations, while noting that, geopolitically, Greece stood as a pillar of stability in a wider region of heightened political instability.

“I firmly believe that our strategic partnership will continue to expand as your country’s presence on the international map continues to grow,” the Greek Prime Minister told the Chinese president.

Mr. Samaras also expressed “deep appreciation towards China”, explaining that the country’s leadership had displayed friendship, responsibility, and support for Greece’s effort to overcome its economic crisis.

The Greek Prime Minister also spoke about the prospects offered by Greece’s geographical location, which, he noted, enabled the provision of services for the support, maintenance and repair work of China’s naval fleet in the wider area. Mr. Samaras mentioned the Greek island of Crete as a base that was fully equipped to handle the refuelling, maintenance and service needs of China’s fleet. Mr. Samaras  also said the two countries could undertake joint naval patrol missions.

Commenting on his country’s partnership with Greece, the Chinese president noted: “China places great importance on its partnership with Greece. We want to pursue common efforts with Greece and establish a new era for our bilateral ties with regards to overall Chinese-Greek strategic partnerships.”

Mr. Xi Jinping also described Greece as being China’s closest European ally. “China and Greece share a natural friendship and, naturally, very close feelings. We can say that, for China, Greece is the friendliest and most reliable country in Europe.”