Indian, Greek Prime Ministers to hold talks tomorrow

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New Delhi, Jan 10 (UNI) India and Greece will hold discussions here tomorrow on various regional and international issues and for strengthening bilateral relations, focusing attention on enhancing cooperation in a cross-sectoral manner.

Greece Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other Indian leaders tomorrow for further strengthening the traditional friendship and goodwill.

During his visit, the Greek Prime Minister will also call on President Pratibha Patil and Vice-President Hamid Ansari besides holding meetings with the Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said.

He will also meet UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Leader of Opposition L K Advani.

''The visit of the Greek Prime Minister to India follows the visit of President A P J Abdul Kalam to Greece in April 2007. The visit takes place at a time when there is an increasing desire on the Greek side to engage more deeply with India,'' the spokesman said.

India and Greece share traditional long-running ties which go back to antiquity. Both countries are ancient civilisations and modern democracies.

Both countries have close identity of views on issues facing the world and a desire to engage more deeply with each other. Both have rapidly growing economies and are playing an increasing role in regional and global affairs.

The spokesman said India is keen to develop relations with Greece in a cross-sectoral manner.

Bilateral trade is on a growth path. Indian exports to Greece in 2006-2007 amounted to 672.51 million US dollars while imports from Greece were 209.66 million dollars. However, there is still considerable potential for two-way trade to grow.

During the visit of President Kalam to Greece in April 2007, a target of one billion US dollars by 2010 was set.

''We hope we can surpass this very soon,'' the spokesman added.

Prime Minister Karamanlis, who will be here till January 13, will also visit Jaipur and Agra.

UNI RB RL ND1900

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