Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas and his United Arab Emirates counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding for the promotion of economic and commercial cooperation between Greece and the United Arab Emirates, following the conclusion of the joint ministerial EU-Gulf Cooperation Council held in Abu Dhabi.

A committee is being created with this agreement under the chairmanship of the two Foreign ministers, that will coordinate the promotion of bilateral relations in a wide spectrum of sectors and it is expected to constitute the institutional mechanism for the promotion of bilateral economic and commercial relations. The committee is anticipated to convene once a year, in turn in Athens and in Abu Dhabi.

Droutsas also met on the sidelines of the meeting with his counterparts of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman and exchanged views on developments in the region and Libya in particular.

The Greek minister said Libya may be attracting the attention of the international community more at the moment, but it must not overshadow the fact that in many other countries in the region reforms have been scheduled in the right direction, without violence having prevailed.

He reiterated that the EU, and Greece in particular, will support the efforts of the countries in the region, without dictating any reforms model, because the solution must ultimately come from the countries interested themselves, so that it will be viable in the longt term.

Droutsas at EU-Gulf Cooperation Council meeting

Any reform, in order to be viable, must come from the Arab countries themselves, whereas the EU will provide every possible support in that direction, on the basis of mutual respect, Greek foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas said on Wednesday, addressing the 21st EU-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ministerial meeting taking place in Abu Dhabi (UAE), co-chaired by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Items on the Ministerial’s agenda include EU-GCC relations and matters of common interest pertaining to the wider region.
"The EU cannot, and does not want to dictate any model of reforms," Droutsas stressed.

Speaking on behalf of the EU, in light of the recent regional developments, Droutsas stressed the shared view by the two organisations concerning the major challenges such as preserving regional security and stability, combating terrorism, and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.