Greek Defence Minister Panos Beglitis and his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak, with whom he met in Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon starting his three-day official visit to Israel, signed a Cooperation Memorandum in the security sector between Greece and Israel.
Beglitis said “I come as my country’s Defence Minister to state our political will as a government, as well as the majority of the country’s political forces, for the two countries, the two governments, the two peoples, to work together so that we can further develop and deepen our bilateral relations in all sectors of mutual interest and concern”.
This is the first visit by a Greek Defence minister to Israel and part of a cooperation memorandum agreed last year between Prime Minister George Papandreou and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while it is also taking place at a moment when Israel’s relations with Turkey are worsening, shaping new balance factors in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Greek Defence minister clarified, however, that his visit exclusively concerns bilateral relations with the state of Israel and is not functioning competitively with other countries in the region.
He said he shares concerns on the security of the state of Israel and its legal right that emanates from International Law on self defence, condemning all those terrorist acts from organisations that operate from occupied Palestinian territory against citizens of the State of Israel.
Barak also spoke with positive words of the upgrading of the two countries’ military and defence cooperation, expressing his satisfaction over his Greek counterpart’s visit.
“We are seeing with satisfaction the deepening and widening of relations between us and the Greeks in all sectors, including the security sector, and we desire to see the deepening and widening of this cooperation between the governments, between the Defence Ministries and between our peoples,” Barak said.
Beglitis also met with the chief of general staff of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz., while on Monday he will be received by President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while he will also have a private meeting with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. (AMNA)
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