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Greek foreign minister visits Oman

Nikos Dendias will also head to Libya this week and recently participated in a summit with allies Cyprus and Egypt.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Hamad Al Busaidi (R), in Muscat, Oct. 20, 2021.

The top diplomats of Oman and Greece met in Muscat on Wednesday. Greece has shown a desire to enhance relations with other Middle Eastern states recently.

Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Hamad Al Busaidi described the talks held with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias as “positive.” The two discussed opportunities for bilateral cooperation, particularly regarding investment and the economy. Busaidi said the two governments agreed to sign future deals on aviation, trade and more, the official Oman News Agency reported.

“The talks discussed many agreements and memoranda of understanding that the two sides are willing to sign in the future. These agreements cover fields of civil aviation, trade and investment to bolster economic cooperation between the two countries,” he said.

They also signed a visa waiver agreement for holders of diplomatic passports, according to the agency.

Greece has placed considerable emphasis on improving its relations with Middle Eastern states in recent years. Earlier this week, Greece participated in a summit with Cyprus and Egypt that focused on energy cooperation. Greece is particularly close to Egypt, and the latter supports Greece in its maritime territory dispute with Turkey.

Greece has also strengthened its relations with Egypt’s allies. Late last year, the Greek, Egyptian and Emirati militaries participated in a joint naval drill. In September, the Greek and Saudi militaries conducted a joint exercise.

On Thursday, Dendias will head to Libya for a conference. The Libyan government invited nearby countries to the event, which will focus on economic, development and security matters, the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Greece is across the Mediterranean Sea from Libya.

Wednesday’s visit came as Oman is conducting economic reforms this year aimed at reducing debt and reliance on oil. The Gulf state is also seeking to mediate the conflict in neighboring Yemen.

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