Modi arrives in Greece, becomes first India PM to travel to European country in 40 years
The Indian leader arrived in Athens, the capital of Greece, from South Africa where he attended the 15th BRICS Summit.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi being welcomed by members of the Indian diaspora on his arrival at Hotel Grande Bretagne, in Athens, Greece, on Friday, August 25, 2023. (ANI Photo)
INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi arrived in Greece on Friday (25) on a daylong visit, the first by an Indian premier in 40 years, for talks with the European country’s top leadership to strengthen bilateral ties.
The last time an Indian prime minister visited the country was in 1983 when Indira Gandhi set foot on its soil.
Modi arrived in Athens, the capital of Greece, from South Africa where he attended the 15th BRICS Summit and held bilateral meetings with several world leaders to further cement India’s relations with those countries.
“PM @narendramodi sets foot in the historic city of Athens for his first-ever visit to Greece. Warmly greeted by FM George Gerapetritis at the airport,” Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson of India’s ministry of external affairs, said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Modi reached Athens at the invitation of his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The duo will hold talks with to discuss ways to further deepen the relationship.
Modi will also meet Greek president Katerina Sakellaropoulou.
He tweeted a number of posts after reaching Athens in both English and Greek languages.
“A packed day of engagements lie ahead in Athens. He will lay a wreath at the Tomb of an unknown soldier. He will thereafter meet the President of Greece and hold talks with the Prime Minister of Greece,” Bagchi said in the video uploaded alongside the post.
The Indian prime minister will also interact with business leaders from both countries, as well as with the Indian community in Greece during his day-long visit.
“He will also meet business leaders from both sides. Before departing he will interact with the community who are excited to see him after the success of the Chandrayaan mission. All in all a productive day ahead,” the spokesperson added.
The Indian community in Greece was also excited to welcome Modi. They chanted slogans like ‘Modi ji ki jai’ and danced to the tunes of Bollywood numbers “Chak de’ and ‘Jai Ho’.
“We expect that in the future Greece and India ties will be strong. So we are expecting this from the prime minister,” a community member said.
Modi had earlier said, “I have the honour to be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Greece after 40 years.”
India and Greece enjoy civilisational ties, which have strengthened in recent years through cooperation in areas like maritime transport, defence, trade and investments and people-to-people ties.
(With PTI inputs)