Greece strongly condemns the Russian attack on Ukraine, Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said on Thursday, expressing the hope that common sense will prevail and a diplomatic solution will be found.
Speaking at an official lunch at the Presidential Mansion in honor of visiting Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Sakellaropoulou said that “in these critical moments, our thoughts are with the suffering people of Ukraine.”
“We strongly condemn the Russian attack on an independent country,” she said, describing it as “a clear violation of international law and our values.”
She called on Russia to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and to end its aggression.
“I hope that logic will prevail and a diplomatic solution will be found. Europe needs peace and stability. Europe must remain united. Europe will not go back to the 19th century,” she said.
Welcoming Herzog on his first visit to Greece as president of Israel, she said he was an old friend of Greece. She referred to the fact that Greece and Israel enjoy long historical pasts and noted the common progress of both peoples was reflected in numerous monuments and artifacts through the classical, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras to the present.
She also referred to the Holocaust, which in which thousands of Greek Jews were murdered, and to the fight against antisemitism.
“Our strategic collaboration multiplies our power and upgrades us to pillars of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean,” the Greek president said.
“Greece and Israel form a secure geopolitical path between the Middle East and Europe.” This excellent collaboration is reflected in several sectors, particularly in those of defense and energy, she underlined, referring as well to the trilateral collaboration with Cyprus.
Israel’s government, like that of Greece, has “made an explicit statement about the situation and negative results of the violation of international law, and our request is that Ukraine’s independence and integrity be maintained,” visiting Israeli President Herzog said.
Greece is one of the first country he is visiting since assuming office, he said, and this is not simply a matter of being a neighboring country but points to the significance of the relationship between the two countries.
Herzog spoke of the relations of the two peoples going back in human history, and quoted the late professor and rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who said that although wise men were appreciated, only two human societies committed to spreading knowledge and wisdom – the ancient Greek and Jewish cultures, which created academies for this purpose.
Greece and Israel are peace-loving nations, and Israel fought for its independence for centuries, the Israeli head of state said. Its purpose is to boost stability and prosperity in the region. “Greece’s location and its prestige allow it to become a bridge between the Middle East and Europe and the European Union. If we succeed in deepening our collaboration and include more countries in our joint purpose, then all of us stand to benefit,” Herzog said. [AMNA]