Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will travel to Tehran, Iran, on an official visit on February 7-8, his press office said Monday. Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism George Stathakis is said to be among the ministers to accompany him.
Greece is aiming to strengthen ties with Iran and boost economic relations after the United Nations, United States and the European Union lifted economic sanctions in a step toward the country’s re-integration into the international system.
Although the detailed program of Tsipras’ visit has not been disclosed, his agenda in Iran is expected to include talks on tourism, energy cooperation and the agreement with Hellenic Petroleum, Greece’s biggest oil refiner. According to the press, Iran’s deputy petroleum minister for international and commercial affairs told state media last week the sides planned to sign an energy memorandum of understanding.
Iran is a robust and populous country of 78 million inhabitants, with a strong middle class, high income and education levels. Iranians travel abroad mainly during the period of NOWROUZ (New Life) – about 15 days before and after New Years – but also during the summer.
Last week a delegation of representatives from Greece’s tourism sector, headed by the secretary general of the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO), Dimitris Tryfonopoulos, paid an official two-day visit to Tehran aiming to establish closer cooperation between the two countries in the area of tourism.
The GNTO will return to Iran in two weeks (February 16-19) to participate in the Tehran International Tourism Exhibition (TITE) with its own stand for the first time.