Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ meeting with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, Han Duck-soo

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met at noon, at Maximos Mansion, with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, Han Duck-soo, who is paying an official visit to Greece. Talks between the delegations of the two countries followed.

During the contacts, the two sides confirmed the excellent level of bilateral relations and discussed regional and international issues. Greece and Korea are two maritime countries that share common values, such as commitment to International Law and the Law of the Sea.

They also discussed the prospect of strengthening and deepening bilateral economic cooperation, following Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ meeting in New York with the President of the Republic of Korea Yoon Suk Yeol, the recent visit of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kostas Fragogiannis to Seoul and the recent visit of a delegation of Korean businesses to Greece and their meeting with the Prime Minister.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis referred to the prospects of the Greek economy after the return to investment grade and the investment opportunities that arise in Greece, particularly in the sectors of clean energy, digital economy and technology. He stressed in particular Greece’s position as a bridge between Europe and Asia and Africa and as an economic, commercial and energy gateway to the European market and the importance of a mutually productive economic cooperation.

Earlier, a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs was signed for regular political consultations of senior officials.

At the beginning of their meeting, the two leaders made the following statements:

Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Prime Minister, it’s a real pleasure to welcome you to Athens and thank you for this official visit. After all, the ties between our two countries go back many decades, from the very difficult years when the Greeks fought side-by-side with your people for the freedom of your country, a difficult war on the Korean Peninsula.

A lot has happened since. We have great admiration for the economic progress that Korea has made over the past decades. I would like to take the opportunity to use this visit to further strengthen our economic ties. Our Greek shipowners are probably the biggest clients of your shipyards, but there’s a lot more we can do in terms of cooperation on issues regarding trade, technology, clean technology.

I’m very much looking forward to our meeting and hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to put our relationship on an even better footing. So again, welcome.

Han Duck-soo: Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister. First of all, I would like to convey our congratulations on your victory in the election and also we would like to congratulate your leadership in making the Greek economy the fastest runner in Europe, almost three times faster in growth compared with the average growth rate of Europe. Your economy is doing really well and we admire your leadership in making things so much better in such a short period of time.

Greece and Korea are very special in terms of their relations. In 1950, a long time ago, when Korea was in a most difficult situation with the war and aggression from North Korea, Greece actually came to the rescue by sending more than 10,000 soldiers and airmen, and 186 of them sacrificed their lives. Without that sacrifice and service, Korea might not have developed quite as it has today. So we always would like to thank you, the Greek government and the people of Greece. We commit ourselves to always working together with Greece in, first of all, promoting our prosperity and freedom, but also contributing to the world.