ALEXIS TSIPRAS: Mr. President, I would like to welcome you to Greece. It is a great pleasure and honor for me to welcome the President of such important country, as is India. A country that has been rapidly developing. It not only plays a significant role in the global economy, but also in the international diplomatic scene. And I would like to highlight the fact that you chose Greece as one of the first countries to visit in Europe as President. This is particularly important to us as we cannot ignore that both India and Greece represent two ancient civilizations and that we can discuss about the future while carrying this great historical and cultural heritage.
I would like to inform you that you are visiting Greece at a very critical and interesting time. At a time when we exit a long-term economic crisis, having managed to stand on our feet, but also play a special role on the geopolitical scene. We are solving chronic problems in our neighborhood. Yesterday, we reached an important agreement with our northern neighbors, and I find it particularly important that with the achievement of this agreement, from now on your country, India, will not name our neighbors under their constitutional name but with the new name, which is North Macedonia. And this is important not only because Macedonia is a geographical area of Greece but also because it carries the historical heritage, the ancient Greek heritage and tradition known throughout the world. Therefore, I think these developments are very important and I think that India is a country that plays an extremely important role on the world stage, and this is why I am very pleased to welcome you today and have the opportunity to exchange some views with you.
RAM NATH KOVIND: Thank you very much, Prime Minister. I am delighetd to visit Greece. Thank you very much for the warm welcome. It is my first official visit to Europe and we chose to visit Greece, as it reflects our longstanding friendship. We want to deepen our ties with Greece. Excellency, your ancient heritage is enormous. Ancient Greece has one of the finest contributions to human civilization. I had the opportunity yesterday to visit some of your ancient monuments in and around Athens. The beauty and grandeur of Acropolis, the Panathenaic Stadium and the temples of Zeus and Poseidon are enchanting. I must say that I had a memorable time during my visit. And I thank you for your hospitality.
Excellency, Greece and India are two ancient civilizations. Our ties date back to the days of Alexander the Great and King Pyrros. We have had flourishing exchanges in political, economic and cultural levels for centuries. We had a profound interaction in terms of ideas and philosophy. We are fortunate to have such a rich past.
We must take advantage of this and work to build and strengthen our modern ties. My visit is aimed at strengthening our political and economic relations. We rely on the Indo-Greek partnership as well as your highest support to strengthen our ties. We have exchanged many high-level visits. The last Presidential visit from India took place in 2007. We had many ministerial visits, though, in the recent past. The Foreign Minister of Greece visited India last November. The Indian Minister of Agriculture visited Greece in April this year. These visits keep up the momentum of our relations.
Excellency, we share excellent political relations. Both countries, historically speaking, have been sensitive to each other’s concerns. And I would like to thank you for your solidarity and your support for the Kashmir issue and we appreciate it deeply. We also express our highest support to you on the Cyprus issue. There is excellent cooperation between the two countries at a multilateral level. Let us continue the positive cooperation. Thank you for your support for our candidacy for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.
Excellency, our political relations are really strong and reflect the deep and mutual trust and confidence in our partnership. Thank you very much.