FM Gerapetritis meets in Athens with Israeli counterpart Cohen: expanding strategic relations
Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis stated on Thursday that “Greece is ready to take advantage of the positive climate created between Greece and Turkiye in order to create conditions of dialogue based, obviously, on International Law and especially on the Law of the Sea,” after meeting with his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen in Athens.
At the meeting, Gerapetritis underlined “our common will for the strengthening of our close strategic relation, a relation based on common values and principles 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 concern over the escalation of the violence” he noted, adding that Greece “condemns terrorism in all its forms. It is clear that violence is not the solution or the answer and the right of the countries to security should be totally respected”.
Gerapetritis reiterated Greece’s already known position “in favour of a mutually accepted solution for the Palestinian issue, as we believe that it would served 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 on Cyprus.
“We both pointed out the importance of the 3+1 scheme with USA and the need to deepen several fields of cooperation. Greece, Cyprus, Israel and USA 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.”
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.
Israeli FM Cohen
On his side, FM 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.”
Cohen also said he was honored 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.
“Israel is particularly interested in maintaining and expanding its long-term defence interests and promoting trade and technology relations,” the visiting FM said.
He also referred to Israel’s position in the military operation in Jenin, saying, “We have to clarify we are not at war with the Palestinians, but with terrorist organizations, which are fully funded by Iran.”