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Premier hails progress of port project in Greece

Updated: Apr 14,2015 8:49 PM

Premier Li Keqiang said the progress of the Piraeus Port project will strengthen Chinese enterprises’ confidence in investing in Greece.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras responded that his country “firmly supports and is proactively pressing ahead” with the project.

In a telephone call on April 14 to his Greek counterpart, Premier Li said the port project will raise “bilateral pragmatic cooperation to a new level”, and will boost a transportation route spanning the Eurasia continent.

In a telephone conversation in February, Tsipras assured Premier Li that Greece “will not change the nature” of relevant cooperative projects.

During their second phone call regarding the bilateral cooperative agenda, Tsipras elaborated on the considerations of his government about boosting the port project, and Premier Li spoke positively about the development of China-Greece ties.

The Premier observed that his Greek counterpart, after assuming office, “has attached importance to the relationship with China and has several times expressed readiness to press ahead with cooperation on the port project”.

The strategic significance of the port was boosted last November after China and Central and Eastern European countries agreed to build a land-sea express passage between Europe and China, which will link the Greek port and landlocked Hungary.

Premier Li said the port project will “help boost the construction” of the express passage, and China is ready to work with Greece to make the port “a leading port and an important hub in the region, in the Mediterranean, and even in Europe”.

The port is expected to become a symbolic “calling card” of the mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation between the two countries, Premier Li said.

Bilateral teamwork on the project mirrors the traditional friendship, and it will also be beneficial to the Greek economy as well as Europe and the European Union, the Premier said.

Tsipras said his new government is “full of confidence” about the prospects for the developing relationship, and Greece is willing to become a strategic cooperative partner of China in Europe.

The Greek prime minister said he hopes that the transcontinental land-sea express passage “will be built at an early date”.