Photo Credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)
President Rivlin with FM Dendias of Greece, July 28, 2019

President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday held a working meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, barely ten days after his appointment. The president congratulated the FM on his appointment and thanked him for visiting Jerusalem, stressing that this is further proof of the importance both countries see in their relations.

Last Thursday, FM Dendias said that Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had offered an olive branch to Turkey, “obviously according to the respect for international law and agreements.” Dendias told Greek TV channel SKAI in Piraeus.

The eastern Mediterranean basin

Dendias was referring to Mitsotakis’ remarks at a General Assembly meeting last week, in which he said: “I call on Tayyip Erdogan to take a mutual approach in which we will take brave steps.”

Recalling Athens’ and Ankara’s long, historical relationship (y’all remember the siege of Troy?), Dendias said he wanted to reach an understanding on the Cyprus issue.

See our report this morning, “Turkey, Russia, Laying Claim to Mediterranean Off-Shore Gas,” about the emerging dispute between the Turks on one side, and the Greeks, Cypriots and Israelis on the other, on offshore drilling near Cyprus.

Dendias said there are no meetings with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu “for now.”

President Rivlin noted the broad cooperation between Israel and Greece in the areas of security, trade, energy, innovation and disaster management, and cited Greece’s assistance in putting out Israel’s recent forest fires.

The two men discussed regional threats, including the Iranian regime’s attempts to destabilize the region. They also shared their concern regarding growing anti-Semitism around the world.

“I hope that your President can join us in Jerusalem in January 2020 for a conference to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and to work together to confront this modern evil,” said the Israeli President.

Foreign Minister Dendias stressed his concern over rising expressions of anti-Semitism in Greece and added that the Greek government appreciates the president’s unequivocal statements against anti-Semitic attacks in his country.

Dendias said the Greek government intends to continue promoting relations between the two countries and that Greece has many areas of interaction with the State of Israel, which it intends to continue to deepen.


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