Greece can help bring Israel, Palestine closer, says Abbas


Greece can play a constructive mediatory role in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the latter’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, said following talks with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens on Monday.

“Since you have good ties with us, ties that bind us, and you have good relations with Israel, I am sure that you can play a significant political role between the two countries,” Abbas told Tsipras on the first day of his two-day visit.

The Greek leader appeared to take on the challenge and said that his government would makes some moves in the near future to emphasize its willingness to play a constructive role. Tsipras, however, indicated that recognizing a Palestinian state is not yet in the cards.

“When the time is deemed to be right, Greece will make the necessary steps,” he said. Parliament is due to adopt a nonbinding resolution on Tuesday calling on the government to recognize Palestine as a state.