Israeli President Isaac Herzog arrived in Athens Thursday for an official visit, ahead of his trip to Cyprus next week and before his planned talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara.
Noting that both Greece and Israel have a long historical pasts, Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou welcomed Herzog on his first visit to Greece as president of Israel, saying that strategic collaboration between the two countries “ multiplies our power and upgrades us to pillars of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
“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 stressed while also highlighting the trilateral collaboration with Cyprus.
Herzog noted the relations between the countries that stretch back in time to antiquity.
Greece and Israel, he said, are peace-loving nations, and Israel is seeking 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.
In what was, what government sources said, a particularly warm meeting, the Israeli statesman also held talks with Prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The Greek leader stressed the constantly improving bilateral relations between the two countries, recalling that it was his father, Konstantinos Mitsotakis, who recognized the State of Israel in 1990, restoring, as he said, a historical injustice
Herzog said Mitsotakis has been his personal friend for many years and that he was moved when they had met and exchanged photos from the meeting between their fathers after the historic decision to recognize the State of Israel, something, he said, that had been pending for a long time.