India – Greece Bilateral Relations

India – Greece Bilateral Relations

Source – The Hindu and PIB.

General Studies – Paper-2 International Relations, India and Greece Strategic Partnership, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, The Grand Cross of the Order of Honour, Bilateral Groups and Agreements, Groups and Agreements affecting India and its interests.

Why in the News ?

  • India -Greece Under bilateral relations, with the aim of further deepening the strategic partnership between the two countries, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will visit India on a two-day (21-22 February 2024) state visit on 21 February 2024.
  • This is the first visit of a Greek head of state to India after a gap of 15 years.
  • During his state visit to India, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will be the chief guest and keynote speaker at the Raisina Dialogue in the national capital.
  • The Prime Minister of Greece will also be accompanied by senior officials and a high-level business delegation. Before returning to Athens he will also visit Mumbai.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Greece on 25 August 2023 was the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Greece in the last 40 years.
  • On this occasion, the President of Greece Katerina Sakellaropoulou addressed the Prime Minister of India The Grand Cross of the Order of Honour” Honored with.
  • Prime Minister of India in AthensTomb of the Unknown Soldier But tribute was also paid.
  • Before this visit of the Prime Minister of India in 2021, Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar had visited Greece. Following his visit, Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Dendias visited India in March 2022.
  • The 13th bilateral Foreign Office Consultations were held in June 2023, further strengthening the relationship between the two countries under the India-Greece bilateral relationship.
  • Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Greece further strengthened the cultural, economic, and political relations between India and Greece under the bilateral strategic partnership and opened new possibilities for cooperation in various fields between the two countries.
  • This visit of the Indian Prime Minister sets an example to help foster better understanding and fraternal energy between the Indian and Greek citizens (people).
  • Bilateral talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis India-Greece bilateral relations underpinned shared cultural values, commitment to promote economic growth, security and defence, maritime cooperation, bilateral trade, investment, energy The aim is to deepen cooperation in areas such as migration, infrastructure, tourism, connectivity, agriculture and regional and global issues.

Strategic partnership between India and Greece :

There are several major areas of cooperation under the strategic partnership between India and Greece, some of which are as follows –

Defense and Security :

  • India and Greece have agreed to cooperate in maritime security, counter-terrorism, cyber security, and defense industry. Furthermore, decisions have been taken in the India-Greece dialogue at the level of National Security Advisors (NSAs).

Maritime Security and International Law :

  • Both India and Greece have agreed to abide by the provisions of maritime law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), with both the countries having ancient and long-standing maritime perspectives on seafaring.

Culture and Tourism :

  • Both India and Greece have attempted to cooperate in promoting all forms of art and preserving ancient sites. This also includes cooperation within UNESCO.

Trade and Investment :

  • India and Greece aim to double bilateral trade by 2030 and have agreed to explore new opportunities to cooperate in various sectors such as new energy, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and innovation.

Mobility and Migration Partnership Agreement (MMPA) :

  • The leaders of both India and Greece have exchanged views on the Mobility and Migration Partnership Agreement (MMPA) to enhance dialogue in areas such as digital payments, shipping, pharmaceuticals, and education.
  • Through this partnership, India and Greece have opened the way for partnership and cooperation in various fields, which will help in empowerment and promotion of partnership between the two countries.

Important facts  :

The ‘Grand Cross of the Order of Honor’ is the second highest civilian honor in Greece, after the ‘Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer’. The award was established in 1975 and features the head of the goddess Athena, with the inscription “Only the righteous/just should be honored”. The award is presented to individuals who have played a significant role in the fields of politics, diplomacy, culture, science, or social service in promoting the interests and values ​​of Greece.

Beginning of Historical relations between India and Greece :

  • Historical relations between Greece and India began 2500 years ago, when Alexander the Great expanded his campaigns to the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. Diplomatic, trade, and cultural relations between India and Greece are mentioned by the Greek traveler Megasthenes in the fourth century BC. Chanakya has also described the achievement of ambassadorship between India and Greece in his Arthashastra.
  • Currently, trade between India and Greece is growing, and trade between the two countries is expected to reach US$2 billion in the year 2022-23. India also sends aluminum, organic chemicals, fish, and crustaceans (crab and shrimp) to Greece, while Greece sends mineral fuels, mineral oils, and aluminum foil to India.
  • India hosted Greece’s largest commercial exhibition,Honored Country’ at the 84th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), 2019 Participated as. Furthermore, both the countries are cooperating with each other in various fields such as education, cultural exchange, and economic development.

Cultural relations between India and Greece :

  • Dimitrios Galanos, a Greek Indologist, spent 47 years in India and translated many Hindu texts into Greek.
  • A “Dimitrios Galanos” Chair for Hellenic Studies was established in September 2000 at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.
  • Indian Council for Cultural Relations is offering annual scholarships for Greek students to study in India. Greek Indologist Professor Nicholas Kazanas was honored with the Padma Shri award in 2021.

Political relations between India and Greece :

  • Mutual diplomatic relations between India and Greece were established in May 1950. Greece opened its embassy in Delhi in 1950 and India opened its embassy in Athens in 1978. Greece is known to support each other on issues of core national interest such as Kashmir and Cyprus. Greece also supports India’s demand for permanent membership of the expanded United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Defense relations between India and Greece :

  • The year 1998 saw a spurt in defense cooperation between India and Greece, which envisages cooperation in areas such as military training, joint training, defense industry cooperation, etc. The Indian Air Force participated in INIOCHOS-23. The exercise was conducted at Andravida Air Base, Greece from 24 April 2023 to 04 May 2023. Indian Air Force (IAF) with four Su-30 MKI and two C-17 aircraft organized by the Hellenic Air Force A multinational air exercise INIOCHOS-23 participated in.

One of the main facts about Greece is that it is located in Southern Europe, bordered by Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Greece is one of the oldest civilizations in the world and is considered the birthplace of Western civilization. Its capital is Athens and the language is Greek. The longest river in Greece is the Aliakmon River and the highest mountain in Greece is Mount Olympus. It is the birthplace of democracy, philosophy, theater, and the Olympic Games, with a parliamentary republican form of government and dominated by the Pindus and Taurus mountains. Its currency is Euro.

Conclusion/ Way forward :


  • Bilateral relations between India and Greece are extremely important from historical, cultural, and philosophical perspectives. There has been a mixture of cultures between these two countries, dialogue with each other, and exchange of abstract and abstract knowledge towards each other.
  • Historically, relations between India and Greece began during the time of the Maurya dynasty emperor Chandragupta Maurya and the Greek emperor Alexander. Alexander fought with the Indian kingdoms and reached India with his army. In India, Chandragupta Maurya defeated him and created a great empire in the Indian subcontinent. Thus, relations between India and Greece continued even after the time of Alexander.
  • Culturally, India and Greece have maintained their unique cultural heritage. Greek literature, art, and philosophical thought influenced Western cultural development in India, while Indian literature, scriptures, and art have retained their distinct identity. It is this diversity and richness that strengthens the ties between Indian and Greek cultures.
  • Philosophically, there has been a parallel trend between Indian and Greek philosophers, although there have been differences between them at the ideological level. Greek philosophers made significant contributions in the field of logic and renaissance, while Indian philosophers have maintained their preference towards spirituality and enlightenment. Thus, both these cultural traditions have been learning from each other and contributing to each other’s prosperity.
  • From a social and materialistic point of view, there has been trade and cultural exchange between India and Greece. European travelers and traders came to India and thus Indian textiles, jewelry, and other goods reached Europe. After this, even though Greece’s constitutional relations with India diminished, there has been continuity in trade and cultural relations.
  • Thus, the relations between India and Greece have been a source of rich heritage and diversity. Studying these relationships and exploring their impact in detail is important in the field of history and cultural studies, as it allows us to understand our cultural heritage and learn from each other.


Practice Questions for Preliminary Exam : 

Q.1. Consider the following statements in the context of India-Greek bilateral relations.

  1. This is the first visit of a Greek head of state to India after a gap of 25 years.
  2. India honored Greek Indologist Professor Nicholas Kazanas with the Padma Shri award in 2021.
  3. The Grand Cross of the Order of Honor is Greece’s highest civilian honour.
  4. Greece opened its embassy in Delhi in 1950 and India opened its embassy in Athens in 1978.

Which of the above statement / statements is / are  correct?

(A) Only 1 and 3

(B) Only 2 and 4

(C ) Only 1, 2 and 4 

(D)  Only 1 and 4

Answer – (D)

Practice Questions for Main Exam :

Q.1. In the context of current Geo-political relations, discuss how Greece is the gateway to Asia and India is the gateway to Europe ?


No Comments

Post A Comment