It is Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s first trip to a member state of the European Union since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.
Greece’s Athens (AP) — In his first trip to a member state of the European Union since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 that sparked massive worldwide outrage, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman landed in Greece on Tuesday.
Bin Salman met with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis while on the road with a sizable corporate and government group. He will also be there for the signing of many bilateral defense and investment deals.
According to Turkish officials, Khashoggi, a writer living in the United States, was slain at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and his body was dismembered with a bone saw.
The crown prince is claimed to have approved the death, according to a U.S. intelligence dossier that was made public last year, though he has denied any participation.
In recent years, Greece has developed tight ties with Saudi Arabia as it looks for allies in the larger area to address long-standing tensions with its neighbor Turkey, primarily over maritime limits and drilling rights. Greece and Saudi Arabia conducted joint military drills last year from the Greek island of Crete, and Athens loaned the country a Patriot air defense system missile battery.
“I pledge to bring something with me to Greece when I visit. In a translation of his remarks provided to reporters by the government, Bin Salman was reported as stating, “We have numerous issues that will be game-changers for both our countries and for the entire region.
Without providing any further information, he stated that the two nations were engaged in a project that would “make Greece a hub for Europe in terms of hydrogen (fuel)”.
The meetings were not open to journalists, and they were not given the chance to query the visiting Saudi royal.
The two nations are also preparing a data cable link that would cross the Mediterranean Sea and be finished in 2025. It is estimated to cost 800 million euros.
The Saudi Prince visited Greece after meeting President Joe Biden earlier this month in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In October of last year, Mitsotakis traveled to Saudi Arabia and met the crown prince, who subsequently hosted the visiting French president Emmanuel Macron and the departing British prime minister Boris Johnson.
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