World / Europe

Greek President calls for closer Greece-China cooperation

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-02-20 07:37

ATHENS - Greek President Karolos Papoulias on Thursday called for strengthening bilateral ties between Greece and China and urged further cooperation between navies of the two countries.

When meeting with Zhang chuanshu, commander of the 18th escort fleet of the Chinese navy and the Deputy Chief of Staff of the South China Sea fleet, Papoulias congratulated the Chinese fleet on the successful completion of the escort mission.

The President said the fleet had contributed to ensuring the safety and freedom of dangerous sea routes, adding that increased exchange between the two navies should be encouraged.

Papoulias also gave Zhang and his accompanying officials greetings for the Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls on Thursday.

China's recent growth was admirable, Papoulias said. He commended China's advocacy for peace, harmony and a multi-polarized world, saying he appreciated the important role China has played in maintaining world peace.

Papoulis pointed out that China's shipping giant COSCO is currently developing the port of Piraeus into the largest port in the Mediterranean area, an objective that would benefit not only Greece but also all other countries in the area. Papoulias stressed that great potential lies in Sino-Hellenic cooperation in the area of shipping and looked forward to further strengthening cooperation for the benefit of both peoples in the coming year.

The meeting was also attended by the Chinese ambassador to Greece Zou Xiaoli.

The 18th Chinese naval escort fleet arrived in the Greek port of Piraeus on Monday, commencing a four-day goodwill visit. The fleet is scheduled to depart for China on Friday.

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