President begins 3-day visit to Israel

President Karolos Papoulias on Sunday began a three-day official visit to Israel where he is to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders as well as leading a delegation of ministers who are to discuss issues of regional geopolitical and concern and to investigate possible bilateral business deals.

Papoulis is being accompanied on his trip by Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis, Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos and Deputy Environment and Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis.

Papoulias, 82, is a seasoned diplomat, having served as foreign minister twice – from 1985 to 1989 and from 1993 to 1996. In 1983, Papoulias played a key role in mediating in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, culminating in the safe departure of trapped Palestinian militants, including the late Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization Yassar Arafat.