The 11+1 deals of Saudi Arabia and Greece and the promise of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman that he will not come to the country “empty-handed”

If one sentence often says it all, yesterday at the Maximos Palace this was the final wording of the heir to the throne of Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, in his private meeting with Kyriakos Mitsotakis: “So I promise you that when I come to Greece, I will not come empty-handed,” said the crown prince of the leading Gulf power, thus showing the willingness of the Saudis to boldly invest in our country, which they also see as a bridge for their access to Europe.

The new element in the equation was the intention of the Saudis to supply our country, as well as Europe, with cheaper electricity, which they themselves produce from Renewable Energy Sources. This is included in the Memorandum of Cooperation signed for the Energy sector, with the prospect of interconnecting the electricity supply networks of the two countries and then our country becoming a “gateway” for both Southern and Western European countries. The energy cooperation with Riyadh, of course, has… depth, as there are already talks about hydrogen, which is estimated to be the fuel of the future and our country wants to have a lead in supplies, as it did with LNG.

The data cable

The strategic relationship between Athens and Riyadh, however, is basically symbolized in the mega-project called East to Med Data Corridor (EMC), the big “cable” for data transfer, as the four companies leading the project (STC, TTSA , PPC and Cyta), signed an agreement so that the EMC project will be implemented from the autumn.

This is a project that essentially upgrades the position of our country as a hub for the storage and distribution of data in the region of Southeast Europe, bringing tangible economic and geostrategic benefits, government sources emphasize. Based on the agreement, the creation of two data centers in Attica and Crete will also be launched. The Saudis, meanwhile, are showing their willingness for business in the telecommunications sector as well, with Prince Bin Salman talking about the prospect of interconnecting telecommunications networks.

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11+1 deals

In addition to the Agreement on EMC, but also the Memorandum on Energy, the upgrading of the strategic relationship between Greece and Saudi Arabia is reflected in the other 9 signed agreements. The main coordinating body will now be the Supreme Council for Strategic Cooperation between the two countries, while military cooperation will become even closer, with joint exercises and the exchange of know-how on equipment. At the same time, a Memorandum was signed for the promotion of investments, for scientific and technological cooperation, for Health, the fight against crime, culture and sports, technical cooperation in the fields of standardization and quality, and for cooperation in archiving and file management.

In simple words, with agreements of greater and lesser scope, Greece and Saudi Arabia are coming closer in all policy fields, with our country for the first time after decades having a closer relationship with the Gulf countries, including the Defense Agreement we have signed with the United Arab Emirates.

The agreements, however, did not end yesterday, as they were only at the intergovernmental level. After all, Mr. Bin Salman is accompanied by 30 businessmen and the head of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, who will participate in today’s investment forum taking place in Great Britain. Thus, after yesterday’s dinner at the Acropolis Museum hosted by Mr. Mitsotakis for Mr. Bin Salman with a Cretan menu, business is in order for large companies that want to invest in our country, but also for Greek companies that want to open lots in Saudi Arabia. Perhaps the biggest of the deals is that of the Mytileneios group with Ajlan&Bros. Holding Group.

Salman: We can provide Greece with cheaper energy

His intention to support Europe, especially southern and western Europe, with much cheaper and efficient energy from renewable sources. expressed the heir to the throne of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, during his meeting on Tuesday in Athens with Kyriakos Mitsotakis, emphasizing the prospects of cooperation between the two sides.

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The statement comes as an energy war rages in Europe, centered on Russia and its control over the flow of natural gas to western Europe.

This is the first visit by the powerful Mohammed bin Salman, head of an investment fund that manages hundreds of billions of dollars in wealth, to European soil since April 2018. This reflects the importance Saudi Arabia attaches to relations with Greece as a pillar of security and stability. in the area.

“I believe we also have historic opportunities, many of which we are going to finalize today,” Mohammed bin Salman said during his reception at the Maximus Palace, and added: “By connecting the power grids, we can provide Greece and south-eastern Europe through of Greece much cheaper energy from renewable sources and we will sign a memorandum of understanding on this today.”

I will not come empty handed

He also emphasized that “we are also concerned with hydrogen and how to turn Greece into a hub for Europe in terms of hydrogen, this is a game changer for both countries. We are also working on the interconnection of the telecommunications network. These three are all important issues that are going to change the position of Greece and Saudi Arabia and support Europe, especially southern and western Europe, with much cheaper and efficient energy from renewable sources.”

And as he pointed out: “We certainly have a rich agenda: investment, trade, economic agenda, political agenda, security. So I promise you that when I come to Greece, I will not come empty-handed.”

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