On the initiative of the Greek government, the 3rd EU-Arab World Summit which opened this Monday, October 29 and will run also on Tuesday, October 30 2018, in Athens, Greece, is being held under the patronage of the European Parliament with view of providing the most representative and dynamic platform for debating strategies of Euro-Arab co-operation and partnership between the two major economic and political blocs.
Alexis Tsipras, the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic had the honour to address attendees as the first speaker who opened the event.
“The vision on which this summit is based is becoming more and more accepted and significant, not only for our region but more widely throughout Europe. Three years ago, we discussed the need for a closer dialogue between Europe and the Arab countries”, Greek premier, Alexis Tsipras noted, “to address regional challenges and strengthen economic cooperation. And, of course, we considered that Greece – as a European country with strong historical, economic and cultural ties to the Arab world – could play a crucial role in this endeavour.
“We are leaving the recessionary programmes behind us; we have achieved ever higher growth rates, and we are again becoming an attractive investment destination (…) Greece has been established as a strong economy, with highly skilled human resources and as an irreplaceable regional energy, commercial, shipping and transport hub”, Greece’s head of government added referring to meaningful and major projects such as the TAP, IGB, Vertical Corridor, EastMed, rail links to Belgrade and the Black Sea, the Egnatia railway, the coastal connection between Thessaloniki and Izmir and the upgrading of the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki and soon Alexandroupolis and Kavala into major transit centers.
Tsipras underlined that, “Today’s summit is taking place at a critical momentum, at a significant moment for Greek-Arab and Euro-Arab relations, but also for Greece, which is coming out of a multi-annual crisis, but is emerging stronger and more optimistic.”
Pointing out Greece’s position and character being at “a crossroads of civilisations and a bridge between Europe and the Arab world”, Tsipras highlighted the fact that this is the path the country wishes to continue following by representing a “lighthouse” of unity in the wider region and a connection link between civilisations.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades attends the event and addresses its audience
Another key speaker who addressed participants immediately after the Greek PM was the Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.
The president of the Mediterranean nation focused on the hydrocarbon reserves in the eastern Mediterranean and innovative future solutions or Renewable Energy Sources (RES) Cyrus can work with in order to produce sustainable and eco friendly energy from here on.
At this point, he also sent a message to the Turkish leadership.
“We expect and hope that Turkey will display the necessary political decisiveness for a solution,” Anastasiades said “amid speculation about efforts to restart stalled peace talks”, Kathimerini reads.
Nicosia’s aim is to achieve a “model of peaceful coexistence” and create “a (prosperous) European country that is fully independent and of foreign influence.”
Moreover, “He also underlined the multiple benefits that a peace deal would bring for security in the broader region as well as stressing the need for boosting cooperation between EU and Arab states on the political, economic and social levels.”
Anastasiades is also going to address a dinner organised by the Cypriot Association of Shipowners within the framework of the annual General Assembly of the Association, about to be held on Monday afternoon and will be attended by Cyprus Deputy Minister of Shipping Natasa Pilides.
Cyprus’ President will be accompanied by Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou.
The list of speakers consists of numerous other prestigious personalities from Greece, the Arab world, Europe and the Balkans. Among them, Tourism minister, Elena Kountoura and main opposition head, Kyriakos Mitsotakis from Greece and the Bulgarian PM, Boyko Borissov.
The international event is taking place under the auspices of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopios Pavlopoulos. It is realised in co-operation with The Arab League, the Union of Arab Chambers, the Athens of Commerce and Industry and the support of the European Commission, the Arab-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and Development and the Swiss-Arab Network….. / IBNA