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Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis to headline Raisina Dialogue
THE HINDU

Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis to headline Raisina Dialogue

The Raisina Dialogue coincides this year with the G-20 Foreign Minister’s Meeting hosted by Brazil on February 21-22, and while External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar will stay in Delhi to host the conference, most G-20 Foreign Ministers are expected to be in Rio de Janeiro. 


Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will travel to Delhi next week as the chief guest for the Ministry of External Affairs’ (MEA) annual Raisina Dialogue. While the final schedule for the Raisina Dialogue, to be held from February 21-23, is yet to be announced, Mr. Mitsotakis will be one of several international dignitaries arriving for the conference organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), and is expected to include several Foreign Ministers and Deputy Foreign Ministers from European countries, including Latvia, Romania, Estonia, Serbia, and the Netherlands, and neighbouring countries like Nepal, Vietnam, as well as other Ministers from other parts of the world.

The Raisina Dialogue coincides this year with the G-20 Foreign Minister’s Meeting hosted by Brazil on February 21-22, and while External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar will stay in Delhi to host the conference, most G-20 Foreign Ministers are expected to be in Rio de Janeiro. 

According to sources, Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Irina Borovets is also expected to speak at the event. U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who was due to attend the conference and hold ICET technology talks in Delhi, is unable to travel to India due to “domestic and international” considerations, sources said, indicating both the Biden administration’s campaign commitments, U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin’s recent hospitalisation, and also ongoing developments in the Israel-Gaza conflict as well as Ukraine. Senior State Department official and former Ambassador to India Richard Verma is making a visit to India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, and he and U.S. Admiral John Aquilino, Commander of its Indo-Pacific Command, are expected to address the conference instead.

The conference will begin with a keynote address by the Greek Prime Minister on Wednesday, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will accompany him. Mr. Mitsotakis, who has been invited for a State visit, will also travel to Mumbai and is expected to be accompanied by a large business delegation. Among other discussions, both sides are expected to take forward talks on the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, which has hit a pause due to the Israel-Hamas conflict. 

“India-Greece relations have been elevated to ‘Strategic Partnership’ during PM Modi’s visit to Greece in August 2023. They are based on shared cultural values, commitment to foster economic growth, collaboration in the fields of security and defence, shipping, maritime and marked by convergence on regional and global issues,” the MEA said in a statement announcing the visit.

During his visit to Athens last year, Mr. Modi had made a strong pitch to Greek businesses to invest in India, and the two leaders had agreed to set a target to double bilateral trade by 2030. India and Greece have been negotiating a migration and mobility agreement to facilitate legal “skilled migration” between the two countries since 2022, but have yet to conclude it. According to sources, no government to government agreements are ready for finalisation, but several Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) between Indian and Greek businesses are likely to be signed during the visit, including those in banking and finance, insurance, IT, and think tanks.

This is the ninth edition of the Raisina dialogue, organised by the MEA-ORF since 2016. Previous editions have had keynote addresses by leaders of Denmark, Rwanda, Israel, the European Commission, Italy, and others.


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