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Greece Pledges Active Role in China’s 17+1 Initiative 

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis participated in a China summit with Central and Eastern European countries. Photo source: primeminister.gr

Cosco’s investment in the development of Piraeus port has paved the way for stronger ties and new initiatives between Greece and China, creating the conditions for future cooperation, said Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during a China summit with Central and Eastern European countries this week.

The first such event held on February 9 focused on access to Covid-19 vaccines and post-pandemic economic recovery. 

Participating via video in the Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries (China-CEEC 17+1) conference, Mitsotakis said the 17+1 Initiative could contribute to “bold decisions through cooperation, solidarity, understanding and transparency”. 

The Greek PM referred to Cosco’s investment in Piraeus as an example of a mutually beneficial cooperation. 

Photo Source: PPA

“The example of the Chinese investment by Cosco in the port of Piraeus demonstrates this win-win approach; an investment initiative that is mutually beneficial for both countries,” he said.

Describing the Piraeus port investment as an “emblematic project”, Chinese President Xi Jinping said “the port has become an important hub for China-Europe rapid land and sea links and for Asia-Europe connectivity.” 

Xi added that Beijing was “ready to work with Greece and other parties to the further expand cooperation” within the framework of the 17+1 scheme.

President Xi Jinping chairing the China-Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) Summit. Photo: Xinhua / Source: china-ceec.org

President Xi Jinping chairing the China-Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) Summit. Photo: Xinhua / Source: china-ceec.org

Mitsotakis also referred to Greece’s proposals for the introduction of an EU-wide vaccination certificate that would facilitate safe travel and restart economies.

“This is an issue of particular importance for Greece, and we will seek to work bilaterally to ensure that Chinese tourists return to Greece. And if they can show a vaccination certificate, we can guarantee that there will be no additional restrictions,” he said.

On a last note, Mitsotakis said Greece’s commitment to organize this year the 6th China-CEEC High-level Conference on Tourism and the 3rd Forum on Intangible Culture was “evidence of our intention to be a productive member of the [17+1] Initiative”. 

“China-CEEC” or “17+1” is a Chinese initiative to promote business and investment relations between China and 17 CEEC countries: namely Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

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