Abdulla Balalaa, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Energy and Sustainability of the United Arab Emirates visited Greece from 18-20 June to participate in the inaugural Athens Riviera Summit 2024 in the Greek capital.

He participated in a panel entitled ‘Ministerial Dialogue - Investing in Energy Security: Strategic Energy Partnerships, the Path to the Green Transition & Effective Economic Cooperation in Unstable Times’ with Theodoros Skylakakis, Minister of Environment and Energy for Greece. During the panel, Balalaa discussed the significant international role the UAE plays in the energy sector, from both traditional resources such as oil and gas to renewables. He also touched on the important role Greece plays, both as a strategic partner to the UAE and as a global player in energy security.

On the sidelines of the summit, Balalaa met with Skylakakis, Alexandra Sdoukou, Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy, Dr Petros Varelidis, Secretary General of Natural Environment and Waters of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, and Maira Myrogianni, Secretary General for International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic.

During the meetings, Balalaa expressed his gratitude to Greece for its participation in and support for COP28. He also invited the country to participate in the Mohamed bin Zayed Water Initiative, which aims to encourage all entities in all countries to enhance water desalination technologies. He also discussed ways to cooperate in the energy sector as well as other sectors such as climate and food security.

During the visit, a significant agreement was announced between GEK Terna Group of Companies and Masdar, an Emirati-owned renewable energy company, marking one of the largest business agreements in the history of the Athens Stock Exchange, valued at 3.2 billion euros. Dr. Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to Greece, stated, “This visit and this agreement illustrate the importance of Greece to the UAE, not only in the field on Energy but also as a Comprehensive Strategic Partner.”