The Greek Government has hosted the Saudi Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud, as part of a two-day visit cementing ties between the two countries.
The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis welcomed His Highness agreeing to an ongoing cultural partnership, beginning with a proposed two-year intensive cultural program. A Memorandum of Cooperation between the two countries will be signed in Riyadh in 2021.
This has seen the Kingdom open up to the world, with culture expected to provide an estimated 3% of its GDP by 2030
His Highness also met with President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, who gave support for the partnership, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, where cultivating closer diplomatic relations was on the agenda, and the Greek Minister of Culture and Sport, Lina Mendoni, where details of the proposed collaboration were discussed.
Greece and Saudi Arabia’s history of cultural exchange through trade can be traced back to ancient times and has become increasingly important in recent years. Areas of common interest include cultural tourism, heritage and archaeology. Like Greece, Saudi Arabia has a clutch of ancient sites, such as AlUla and Ad-Diriyah, which it is confident will attract global interest when travel resumes after the pandemic.
Greece and Saudi Arabia’s history of cultural exchange through trade can be traced back to ancient times
Saudi Arabia is undergoing an ambitious transformation as part of its Vision 2030 program, instigated by HRH the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud in 2016, of which culture is a key pillar. This has seen the Kingdom open up to the world, with culture expected to provide an estimated 3% of its GDP by 2030.
“This visit has been a priority for us. We are very excited to be here in Athens meeting with the Greek President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and Minister of Culture and Sports,” said Rakan Al Touq, Head of Saudi Cultural Affairs and International Relations. “One of the main areas of discussion was the joint archaeological excavation of Qaryat Al-Faw in Southern Saudi Arabia. The significance of this possible partnership is reflective of the cooperative historical relationship between the two regions.”