The Minister of National Defence Evangelos Apostolakis visited the “IDEX 2019” International Defence Exhibition and Conference, on 17 and 18 February 2019, taking place in Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates.
IDEX International Defence Exhibition and Conference hosts exhibits of cutting edge technology throughout the defence sectors, covering all three services of the Armed Forces.
The Minister of National Defence visited IDEX Greek pavilions, but also pavilions which are of interest to Greece, talked with the exhibitors and went through pertinent briefings.
In the context of his visit to the exhibition, the Minister of National Defence met with the Prince of Abu Dhabi and successor of the UAE, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Furthermore, among others he met with the Minister of State for Defence of UAE Mohammed Ahmad Al Bowardi, the Defence Minister of Armenia Davit Tonoyan, the Minister of Defence of Serbia Aleksandar Vulin, the Minister of National Defence of South Korea Jeong Kyeong-doo, the Deputy Minister of Defence of Bulgaria Anatoliy Metodiev Velichkov and the Commander of UAE Air Force and Air Defence General Ibrahim Naser Al Alawy, with whom he discussed issues of mutual interest.
Statement by the Minister of National Defence:
“Journalist’s Question: Regarding your visit here, what are your thoughts on the contacts you made, but also on the Greek defence industry and its presence in this exhibition?
Ε. APOSTOLAKIS: It was a great opportunity to visit “IDEX”, which is one of the most prestigious defence exhibitions in the Gulf region. Almost all companies from around the world have pavilions here and of course we and the demonstration of our activities could not be absent. As you see, all the Greek companies have representatives in this exhibition’s pavilions. I had the opportunity to talk with all the directors and company owners. The meetings were quite fruitful and I believe that we conducted a very good demonstration of the Greek defence industry and all its representatives, supported by the General Directorate for Armaments and therefore the Minister of National Defence. An essential effort is made to promote these companies’ capabilities, which are many, not just domestically but also internationally.
My conclusion is that everyone is fairly satisfied with this activity. We enjoy quite a good cooperation with UAE all these years, in terms of training particularly in the field of Air Force, Navy but also on issues of military training in general.
I would like to remind you that some years ago, they provided us with a great quantity of spare parts for type S frigates, which supported our ships for approximately 10-15 years, with spare parts not available in the market anymore. So, you can see that the there is an excellent spirit of cooperation and support and we try to preserve that. I believe we will manage to do so.
I consider the presence of the representatives from the Greek defence industries and the General Directorate for Armaments to be essential. We support them and we wish them all the best for these companies’ perspectives and investments.
Journalist’s Question: One more question. Could you tell us what you took away from the international contacts you conducted with your counterparts during this visit?
E. APOSTOLAKIS: My international contacts and meetings pertained mainly to a general analysis of the way of thinking in parallel with other states and bodies facing problems similar to ours. This analysis and way of thinking demonstrate that we are heading to the right direction. There is a need for synergies - cooperations, good relations and support in facing the great problems currently afflicting the wider region of Asia and Eastern Mediterranean, such as terrorism, illegal trafficking and energy issues. The lines of communication must remain open and there should be peace and security in general, throughout the region. This is the aim of meetings and the way to expand these relations, so as to make them beneficial to all and support each other on issues that concern us”.