Greece welcomed to new 17 + 1 coalition

World Today

The 16 plus-one-group is now 17-plus-one.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has wrapped up his meeting with leaders of central and east European countries. And they welcomed a new member, Greece.

CGTN’s Aljosa Milenkovic reports from Croatia.

A historic moment for the 16+1 framework.

First family photo with new member of the group, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, here in the middle of the picture, on the left from Croatian host Andrej Plenkovic.

An honor given to the newcomer.

Just minutes before, Prime Minister Tsipras was introduced into the conference room where remaining 17 heads of governments were finishing the plenary session.

Tsipras was given an opportunity to address the meeting for the first time.

“I look forward to work with all of you in this framework, in this initiative. In full respect of the rules and procedures of the European Union to promote economic co-development through this very effective platform of cooperation with China,” said Alexis Tsipras the Prime Minister of Greece.

Relations with the European Union were also a focus at the plenary session.

Premier Li Keqiang also touched the topic, in the light of his talks in Brussels before arriving in Croatia.

“We have made it clear that we’ll take fair and non – discriminatory approach, to treat each-others companies. With openness and transparency we will work together for collaboration and we will rely on market principles to advance mutually beneficial projects and cooperation,” Li Keqiang the Chinese Premier.

Meantime, host Andrej Plenkovic praised the achievements of this year’s meeting, but also expressed satisfaction with deals that Croatia reached with China.

“We are very happy that Croatia has signed in total about 10 agreements and number of agreements in private sector too. We are especially looking forward to continuation of collaboration in the area of infrastructure construction. I particularly think about the ports and railways infrastructures,” said Andrej Plenkovic, Prime Minister of Croatia.

During the summit, dozens of agreements were signed ranging from agricultural exports to China, infrastructure construction projects, and cultural cooperation between the 16 countries of Central and Eastern Europe with China.