Thursday , June 13 2024

Official Visit of the Foreign Minister of Israel to Athens


Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis receives his Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen, accompanied by Ambassador of the State of Israel, Noam Katz.


Greece-Israel expands strategic relationship


On July 6th, Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis received his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen for private talks, followed by expanded discussions between the two countries’ delegations and joint statements to the press in which they expressed the common will to expand the two countries close strategic relationship.

After the meeting during the Joint statements to the press, Minister Gerapetritis underlined “our common will for the strengthening of our close strategic relation, a relationship based on common values and principles, such as the tackling of antisemitism, the strong ties of friendship between our peoples, as well as our common vision for the establishment of peace, security and stability in the eastern Mediterranean and in the Middle East.”

“We are monitoring the developments in the region and we are deeply concerned over the escalation of violence,” he noted, adding that Greece “condemns terrorism in all its forms. It is clear that violence is not the solution nor the answer and the right of the countries to security should be totally respected”.

Minister Gerapetritis reiterated Greece’s already known position “in favour of a mutually accepted solution for the Palestinian issue, as we believe that it would serve both sides and people interests”.

They also discussed the trilateral cooperation with Cyprus and the next steps that can be planned ahead of the 9th trilateral summit in Cyprus.

“We both pointed out the importance of the 3+1 scheme with the USA and the need to deepen several fields of cooperation. Greece, Cyprus, Israel and the United States are States that, I believe, are united with common interests and common values,” he noted adding that: “We also found out our volition to promote other schemes of cooperation that would include Greece, Cyprus, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.”

In his remarks welcoming his counterpart Minister Cohen, Minister Gerapetritis pointed out that the Israeli Foreign Minister is of Greek Jewish ancestry. “With this visit, our common will to expand our close strategic relationship is sealed,” he said.

Finally, he referred to Greece’s steady interest for the preservation of the multireligious and multicultural character of the Holy Land and the protection of the privileges and protection of the assets of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

On his part, Foreign Minister Cohen said that “Israel supports Greece’s sovereign rights and territorial integrity,” and underlined the “extremely important trilateral relationship of Israel, Greece and Cyprus,” which he said is “a source of stability in the East Mediterranean.” He also noted the trilateral cooperation between Israel, Greece and Cyprus on efforts to export natural gas from Israel to Europe and connecting Israel to Europe’s electric grid referring to the importance of diversifying Europe’s energy supply.

“Israel is particularly interested in maintaining and expanding its long-term defence interests and promoting trade and technology relations,” the visiting head of diplomacy said.

Minister Cohen also said that he was honoured to be the first Foreign Minister visiting Athens so soon after the Government assumed power, which he said highlights the key and strategic relations of the two countries. “These strong relations between our countries are stable and growing.” Both countries share the values of freedom and democracy and contribute to the region’s stability and prosperity he said.

In addition, he pointed out that there are 100 flights a week between Israel and Greece and that a million Israelis visited Greece in the past year.

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