Tsipras, Kotzias head to Iran aiming to strengthen ties

6 February 2016
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Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will pay an official two-day visit to Iran Sunday. He will be accompanied on his trip to Tehran by Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and several other government officials.

Athens hopes to strengthen both political and economic ties with Iran, particularly in the energy sector.

It is expected that Hellenic Petroleum will begin importing crude oil from Iran in the second half of the year, with the aim of covering a quarter of its needs.

“The aim is to improve political and economic relations between Greece and Iran,” Giorgos Tsipras, general secretary of the Foreign Ministry, told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) on Friday.

“Sanctions on Iran have been lifted and it is now emerging after a long period of isolation at least in the economic international community. Other countries such as Italy and Spain had hastened to Tehran before us in order to take advantage of the new era after the lifting of sanctions.”

Iranian Ambassador to Greece Majid Motallebi Shabestari described Greece as a “gateway to the Balkans and Eastern Europe” in an interview with ANA-MPA.

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