ABU DHABI // The Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah met with Antonis Samaras, the Greek prime minister, on Tuesday.
They discussed ways of enhancing ties of cooperation and friendship to promote bilateral economic and trade exchange and encourage investment and advanced industrial projects.
Sheikh Abdullah also held discussions with Evangelos Meimarakis, the speaker of parliament, on the means of consolidating bilateral relations and cooperation, particularly in politics and economics.
They also discussed ways of energising parliamentary relations.
In a statement to the Greek newspaper Ta Nea, Sheikh Abdullah said: "It is with considerable pleasure that I am visiting Greece once again this week to discuss ways in which our two governments can work to promote further development of our already strong relations.
"It is now nearly 40 years since the UAE and Greece established diplomatic relations in 1975 and, in the decades that have followed, our links have grown steadily, not just at a government-to-government level but also in terms of bilateral trade and investment and between our two peoples."
He said he believed there was enormous potential to expand the cooperation between both countries. "There is, for example, scope for more direct investment by UAE institutions, whether governmental or private, in the Greek economy," said Sheikh Abdullah.
He also touched upon the issue of visas for Emiratis in the European Union.
"Greek citizens, along with most Europeans, are granted free 30-day visas upon arrival to the UAE," he said.
"The UAE is asking that its citizens be granted similar access to the countries of the Schengen Area, in recognition of the excellent relations between the UAE and Europe, and of the significant economic contribution of Emirati activities on the continent.
"Too often, Emirati citizens are stopped at European borders and turned away because of unclear, complex and restrictive visa regulations.
"In the coming weeks, the EU is expected to make an important decision on the expansion of the list of countries that are granted visa-free access to the Schengen Area.
For over two years, the government of Greece has publicly, and repeatedly, expressed its view that the UAE should be added to that visa-free list. We are grateful for that support."