Samaras to meet Netanyahu in Israel, with Iran also on agenda

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is to meet his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday as the two countries hold their first high-level ministerial council.

Samaras is accompanied by eight ministers on his trip to Israel, where energy and defense issue will be high up on the agenda.

Samaras is also due to meet President Simon Peres and Patriarch Theophilos during his visit.

Israeli media have also linked Samaras’s visit to relations between Israel and Iran. The Jerusalem Post suggests that the Greek premier and Netanyahu will discuss the current sanctions against Iran and whether there is a possibility of lifting them.

Samaras and Netanyahu appear some distance apart in their interpretation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

“According to diplomatic officials, Greece is not convinced by Netanyahu’s argument that Rouhani is essentially no different than his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, just with a more pleasant façade,” reports Jerusalem Post. “The Greeks believe Rouhani should be given some time, and that perhaps the pressure already placed on Iran has changed its leadership’s positions.”

Iran is one of Greece’s key oil suppliers and Athens might favour of a lifting on Tehran’s sanctions.

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