Athens, Greece (AP) – Foreign ministers and senior officials of several Persian Gulf countries are meeting in Athens on Thursday, as Greece seeks to expand the alliance to counter tensions with regional rival Turkey.
NATO members Greece and Turkey remain locked in a dispute over borders and resource rights in the eastern Mediterranean, leading to a dangerous military buildup in the region for months last year.
Guest officials from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates were meeting in Athens with the foreign ministers of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, who already have regular contacts, and they are from the video link of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was associated.
Countries participating in the eastern Mediterranean dispute have sided with Greece extensively.
Greek Prime Minister Kiriyakos Mitsotakis said the seven participating countries were planning to have regular contacts and meetings.
“It is natural for Greece to seek this type of cooperation … multidimensional challenges in our wider neighborhood make it necessary,” he said at the beginning of the meetings.
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