Athens | Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said he is looking forward to productive talks with the top leadership of Greece aimed at deepening the bilateral friendship as he arrived here on a daylong visit, the first by an Indian premier in 40 years.
Modi is here at the invitation of Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
He arrived in the Greek capital from South Africa where he attended the 15th BRICS Summit and held bilateral meetings with several world leaders to further cement India's relations with those countries.
"Landed in Athens. Looking forward to a productive Greece visit aimed at deepening India-Greece friendship. I will be holding talks with @PrimeministerGR Kyriakos Mitsotakis and also interacting with the Indian community," Modi tweeted.
He is also expected to meet President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.
"PM @narendramodi sets foot in the historic city of Athens for his first-ever visit to Greece. Warmly greeted by FM George Gerapetritis at the airport," the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
"A packed day of engagements lie ahead in Athens. He will lay a wreath at the Tomb of an unknown soldier. He will thereafter meet the President of Greece and hold talks with the Prime Minister of Greece," Bagchi said in the video uploaded alongside the post.
He will also interact with business leaders from both countries, as well as with the Indian community in Greece during his day-long visit.
"He will also meet business leaders from both sides. Before departing he will interact with members of the community who are excited to see him after the success of the Chandrayaan mission. All in all a productive day ahead," he said. The Indian community in Greece was excited to welcome Modi. They chanted slogans like 'Modi ji ki jai' and danced to the tunes of Bollywood numbers "Chak de' and 'Jai Ho'. "We expect that in the future Greece and India ties will be strong. So we are expecting this from the prime minister," a community member said. Modi had earlier said: "I have the honour to be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Greece after 40 years." The last high-level visit to Greece took place in September 1983 when then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi travelled to the country. India and Greece enjoy civilisational ties, which have strengthened in recent years through cooperation in areas like maritime transport, defence, trade and investments and people-to-people ties.