Defence ministers from the UAE and Greece have discussed increasing military cooperation amid shared security concerns, according to the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
Yesterday it was reported that Emirati Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Mohammed Bin Ahmed Al-Bowardi, shared a video call with his Greek counterpart, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, in which they spoke on the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic and unifying efforts to contain its spread.
They also discussed ways to enhance joint defence and military cooperation in the best interests of the two countries, the agency said. In doing so, they reviewed a number of regional and international issues of mutual concern.
Both the UAE and Greece oppose Turkey’s involvement in the Eastern Mediterranean region, in particular Ankara’s support for the internationally-recognised Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) based in the capital Tripoli. The UAE is one of the chief backers of the rival government concentrated in the country’s east, while Greece expelled its Libyan ambassador last year over the agreement struck between Ankara and Tripoli over the establishment of an exclusive economic zone.
Following the UAE’s restoring of relations with the Syrian government, in May Athens appointed a former ambassador to Russia and Syria as Special Envoy for Syrian Affairs. Greece’s Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias earlier this month expressed the country’s intention to reopen the embassies in Damascus and Tripoli “as soon as conditions allow”.
According to Greek City Times, Greece and Israel are also set to establish an International Flight Training Centre in Kalamata, provision of these services will be extended to pilots from the UAE and other air forces.
Diplomatic relations between the UAE and Greece began in 1976. The Greek Embassy first opened in 1989 in the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi, while the UAE opened its embassy in Athens in November 2008.