Meeting between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Montreal

Meeting between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Montreal

Briefing note on the meeting between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Montreal | The Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic
March 24, 2024

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Montreal today. Here is the dialogue of the leaders at the start of their meeting (unofficial translation from English):

Justin Trudeau: It is my great pleasure to welcome my friend Kyriakos to Canada. It has been 41 years since a Greek Prime Minister came to Canada, and it was because of my father's friendship with then-Prime Minister Papandreou that this happened the first time. Therefore, I am glad that our friendship has brought you here today. However, the friendship between Canada and Greece runs very deep. One of the Greek diaspora's proudest and most successful communities is here in Canada. We have deep and growing ties. The challenges in the world require friends with common principles and perspectives to join forces and work together, whether it's the Middle East, one of the real challenges in Eastern Europe, Ukraine and elsewhere, or how to continue to step up investment, even down to the fight against climate change and how to deal with forest fires in good cooperation. We have a lot to do, a lot more to do, but I am really happy to welcome Prime Minister Mitsotakis here. I am glad of your presence here, Kyriakos.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister. It is a great pleasure to be in Canada after 41 years. It is a real honour for me to visit Canada and spend this very, very important day with my good friend, Prime Minister Trudeau, and to mingle with one of the most dynamic communities of the Greek diaspora, the Greek-Canadian community. Today is a very important day as we celebrate the Greek Independence Day. Of course, however, it is also an opportunity to take stock of our bilateral relations and emphasize the common values that unite our two countries in times of significant global geopolitical challenges. Greece and Canada stand side by side, defending the rules-based international order. And, of course, it will be an opportunity to talk about our economic ties. It is an opportunity for me to point out to the Canadian business community that Greece has changed and that we have left the difficult years of the crisis behind us.

It will also be an opportunity to sign important agreements that will consolidate our cooperation in tackling climate change. Greece will be the first country — and there are many others waiting — to procure the new Canadair firefighting aircraft, and we will be able to ratify and sign this agreement shortly.

There is, therefore, much to discuss in a visit that has both a political and an emotional dimension for me. I must say that I found a photo of you in 1983 with your father when you visited the Acropolis. You were very young then, but 41 years is a long time. I am happy to be able to spend this important day here with you and with the Greek community.

Justin Trudeau: But I must say that the Prime Minister is being modest. The change in the state of the Greek economy — in fact, it is much more than a change — is impressive. What you have been able to achieve in terms of Greece's economic strength right now is extraordinary, and we are happy to continue to play a role in the incredible growth that you are experiencing.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Thank you.

During the meeting, the mutual desire to strengthen bilateral relations with an emphasis on economic and trade cooperation was confirmed.

The Prime Minister underlined the prospects of the Greek economy and the investment-friendly business environment, which has already attracted major Canadian investment in Greece, while adding that there is further room for improvement. The two leaders also discussed the significant presence of Greek businesses in Canada and the great potential that can be developed in the area of tourism between the two countries.

The challenge of climate change and the management of extreme weather events was also discussed. Particular emphasis was placed on the need for coordination, preparedness, and training in fire management, particularly in relation to mega-fires.

The Prime Minister highlighted Greece's initiatives in renewable energy, as well as the diversification of supply sources and energy security in South and Eastern Europe through interconnection.

The two leaders gave special attention to the Greek community. The Prime Minister stressed the significance of the right to postal voting and mentioned the strategy for the diaspora. Following the extensive talks, the two Prime Ministers attended the signing of an agreement for the acquisition of seven new state-of-the-art DHC-515 firefighting aircraft.

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