People, Travel

Cooperation Talks With Greece

Cooperation Talks With GreeceCooperation Talks With Greece

There is potential for expansion of ties between Iran and Greece, head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, Masoud Soltanifar said in a meeting with Greece’s Deputy Minister of Tourism Elena Kountoura on the sidelines of the Ninth Tehran International Tourism Exhibition.

Pointing to Greece’s reputation as one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, Soltanifar said Athens can help Iran meet its tourism targets, which include drawing 20 million tourists a year by 2025.

Elena Kountoura, who headed a delegation comprising Greek officials and tour operators to TITE (February 16-19), echoed Soltanifar’s call, adding that developing bilateral tourism ties can lay the groundwork for cultural cooperation, the Persian daily Donya-e-Eqtesad reported.

“Participation of major Greek companies in TITE is a step toward strengthening the bond between the two nations,” she said. “Iran and Greece have roots deep in history which brings the two closer.”

Emphasizing the need to facilitate travel between the two countries, Kountoura said visa requirements must be relaxed, which will also help develop two-way economic relations.

Easing visa regulations was first discussed last year, when Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif held talks with Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament Zoi Konstantopoulou in the Greek capital.

Aegean Airlines, the largest Greek carrier in terms of passengers carried and fleet size, as well as the number of destinations served, launched direct flights between Athens and Tehran last July after Iran signed a nuclear agreement with the six world powers (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) that ended the international economic sanctions.