NEWS

Netanyahu attends unveiling of plaque for Holocaust museum in Thessaloniki

TAGS: Politics, Diplomacy

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the unveiling by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of a plaque for the Holocaust Museum which will be constructed in Thessaloniki.

Speaking to reporters, Tsipras said the construction of the museum aims to keep alive the memory of the pain and suffering endured by Thessaloniki’s Jews.

"Both Israel and Greece share the history of Thessaloniki," he said.

The museum’s construction, he said, is a promise to the present and future that people will “resist anything that will threaten freedom, dignity and human life.”

The city’s Jewish community was the largest in Greece before it was crushed by the Nazis during World War II.

"Before the second World War, almost half of Thessaloniki's population was comprised of Greeks of Jewish origin," Tsipras said.

For his part, the Israeli leader said his visit was especially moving as Thessaloniki is an important city for Jewish history and that the museum will keep the memory of the Holocaust alive, and help prevent similar tragedies in the future.

The leaders of Greece, Israel and Cyprus are in Thessaloniki to attend a trilateral summit in Thessaloniki seeking to further strengthen ties between the three countries.

Israel wants to supply Europe with energy through an undersea natural gas pipeline.

Netanyahu, who was accompanied by five ministers and under heavy security, also held separate meetings with Tsipras and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades.

Some 3,500 police officers were deployed around the city.

The visit by Netanyahu is taking place as Cyprus and Israel conduct a joint military exercise on the Mediterranean island. An estimated 400 Israeli commandos are reportedly taking part in the drill.
 

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