Minister of Foreign Affairs George Katrougalos on Thursday concluded a two-day working visit to Bahrain, where he carried out a series of meetings of both political and economic significance. Among others, he invited Bahrain to join a trilateral partnership with Greece and Cyprus, along the lines of similar trilaterals set up with Eastern Mediterranean countries.
Katrougalos met with his counterpart, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, with sources saying that their discussion focused on regional developments, with emphasis on the Gulf crisis and the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Greek foreign minister underlined the initiatives Greece has undertaken to promote stability and security in the region, guided by international law and respect for good neighbourly relations. In this context, he referred to Turkey’s provocative actions in the Aegean and the Cyprus EEZ, and the way Turkey disregards international law. He pointed out that Athens maintains a responsible attitude, acting as a pillar of stability and a reliable partner in the region.
Katrougalos made a case for the trilateral cooperation partnerships that Greece has set up with Cyprus and a series of other countries, inviting Bahrain to form a corresponding trilateral partnership in the near future, a proposal welcomed by Al Khalifa.
The Palestinian issue was also discussed, as Bahrain is expected to host a US-led conference on the Palestinian economy in the capital Manama on June 25, joined by Egypt, Jordan and Morocco but so far boycotted by Palestinian authorities, and Al Khalifa briefed Katrougalos on the course of preparations and his expectations from the conference.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs met with the Minister of Finance & National Economy, Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa, and the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani.
Katrougalos referred to the prospects and opportunities created by Greece’s exit from the financial crisis and the return of the national economy to growth. In this context, the expansion of economic cooperation with Bahrain was discussed, in the sectors of food, energy (including Renewable Energy Sources), tourism, transport and logistics. The two sides also agreed to organise business missions to Athens and Manama, respectively, in the near future.
Concluding his visit to Bahrain, Katrougalos was received by the King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, where the Bahraini monarch expressed his appreciation for Greece and its stabilising role in the region, confirmed the historical ties between the two countries and referred extensively to the country’s important achievements in recent years.
For his part, the Greek foreign minister focused on concrete ways to strengthen bilateral relations and the supportive role Greece can play in cooperation between Bahrain and the EU.