Athens/New Delhi: – Greece has given indications to strengthen cooperation with India to counter the Turkey-Pakistan front, which is becoming more assertive since the last few years. Only last month, the Greek Defence Minister met the Indian Ambassador to discuss the possibilities of cooperation in the defence sector. As per sources, a virtual meeting between the Indian and Greek Foreign Ministers also has been held after that, and discussions regarding increasing bilateral cooperation were held in the meeting. Currently, tension has been heightened between Greece and Turkey in the Mediterranean Sea, and the possibility of a conflict also is being predicted. Against this background, Greece taking steps to strengthen relations with India becomes significant.
Since the last few years, there has been a significant increase in military cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan. Turkey and Pakistan have signed an agreement for destroyers and both the countries have agreed on joint development of drones and fighter jets. A few years ago, Turkey had supplied materials for modernisation of the F-16 fighter jets in the Pakistan air force. Only last year, both the countries held joint naval exercises in the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Sea. Following the failed coup in Turkey, many Pakistani fighter jet pilots are working in the Turkish air force, and Pakistan has supplied training jets to Turkey. It has also been exposed that Pakistan has sent a military contingent to fight in the Armenia-Azerbaijan war at Turkey’s behest.
The increasing Turkey-Pakistan closeness has become a cause of concern for Greece. Therefore, to counter the threat, Greece is taking steps to strengthen relations with India. Although India and Greece share good diplomatic relations, there have been no efforts to enhance them. Therefore, this initiative taken by Greece becomes significant. Within just ten days, the Defence and Foreign Ministers of Greece held talks with their Indian counterparts. At this time, the Greek Defence Minister gave indications that technological cooperation can be developed between the two countries. The Greek analysts have also put up a demand to invite India for a joint naval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea against the background of the increasing tension with Turkey. Indian Foreign Minister, S Jaishankar, while reacting on the meeting with Greece, said India is keen on increasing cooperation in trade, technology and cultural sectors with Greece to strengthen the ties.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Jaishankar made a statement that Europe is a natural partner of India while speaking at a function, following the meeting with Greece. The Foreign Minister also said that India would develop relations even with countries other than the prominent and leading countries from Europe. Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla is currently on a visit to Europe, and the statement of the Foreign Minister becomes significant against this background.