Visit of the Belgian royal couple to Greece

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis welcomed the Belgian royal couple, who arrived on an official visit at the invitation of the President of the Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, to the Maximou mansion.

King Philippe and Queen Consort Mathilde of Belgium were received by Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his wife Mareva Grabowski-Mitsotakis. During the extended meeting of delegations, excellent bilateral relations between countries, regional and international developments, immigration, investments – especially in the energy and renewable resources sector, prospects for deepening cooperation were discussed.

The Prime Minister of Greece highlighted the government’s reforms and initiatives, which have greatly expanded the country’s investment opportunities in a number of sectors. He spoke about the initiatives taken by Greece to diversify energy sources, about the measures to turn the country into a gateway to the Balkans and Europe. In the discussion of international events, the focus was on Ukraine.

Earlier, the royal couple was received at the presidential palace by Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Pavlos Kotsoni. At a special ceremony at the presidential palace, the King and Queen of Belgium were awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of the Savior, and Mrs. Sakellaropoulou was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold, says cnn.gr.

The President of Greece expressed her pleasure at the visit of the royal couple to our country, which “reflects the superlatives of our bilateral relations”:

“Greece and Belgium have traditional close ties of friendship based on our common values ​​and principles. We are partners in the European Union, allies in NATO and have developed a significant level of cooperation within the framework of international organizations. I would like to emphasize that we have not only a desire but also a commitment to further develop these relations in all areas of mutual interest.

Your visit comes at a time when the world, especially Europe, is going through a very important crisis. The Russian offensive in Ukraine, which is still ongoing and no ceasefire is expected in the near future, creates huge problems. The fierce resistance of the Ukrainian people to the Russian invasion is the resistance of every free person to violence and violation of the borders of states. And this emphasizes the special importance of the right of every people to self-determination. Lately, we have all been shocked by footage of atrocities in the cities around Kyiv during the withdrawal of Russian troops, especially footage of Bucha. Greece is ready to provide support, and has already provided it, to the Member States that are the first to receive refugees, because, of course, this crisis has also led to a very important humanitarian crisis, to turning people into refugees. We have already hosted Ukrainian refugees here, and I was especially touched to see how much they want to return to their country as soon as possible, as soon as conditions permit.

Greece and Belgium, as well as our other European partners and other countries, responded positively to the appeal of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes in Ukraine. And for Greece, this is of double, special interest, since it mainly concerns the Mariupol region, where for centuries there has been the center of a prosperous Greek community – about 100,000 people. And the city, as we know today, is almost completely destroyed.

Along with the pandemic, the climate crisis, and energy supply problems, Europe faces a number of challenges that go so far as to call into question the sovereignty of member states. But with the tradition, faith in European values ​​and respect for international law that characterize the European Union, and with the cooperation of all of us, I want to believe that these multiple crises will be overcome. Welcome again”.

In turn, King Philip said that this visit is a very good opportunity to exchange practices and business activities, since, he noted, the two countries have a common European orientation, a comparable population, and also have a lot to offer each other. Thanking the President of Greece for the invitation, the King of Belgium said:

“We are very pleased to be making our first official visit since the Covid pandemic. This is a very good opportunity to listen to each other, to meet, to exchange opinions, practices and business actions, which is especially necessary in times of crisis such as today. We are two similar countries, we have something to offer each other, we both have a European orientation, we have a comparable population. Therefore, we are very pleased to be here and have this exchange of views, both good and bad, as well as the problems that we face in Europe. For the past, as we are accompanied by archaeologists and the rectors of Belgian universities at the moment, to see what we can do together for what we are facing at the European level, and for the future, in the field of energy and communications, we have a lot that say and exchange a lot. Thank you very much again.”



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