Greece-Israel Relationship Has Strategic Depth, Israeli Ambassador Says


Greek anarchist group Rouvikonas splashed paint at the entrance of the Israeli Embassy on Christmas morning. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Stelios Misinas)

ATHENS - Israeli Ambassador to Greece Yossi Amrani, National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister Alexandros Diakopoulos, the diplomatic advisor to the leader of main opposition SYRIZA, Evangelos Kalpadakis, and Professor of Political Studies at Israel's Bar-Ilan University, Amikam Nachmani, were participants in a discussion organised by the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and the Israeli Embassy in Athens to mark the 30th year since Greece and Israel established full diplomatic relations.

Addressing the event held on Thursday, the Israeli ambassador explained that in the last 20 years, especially, Greeks and Israelis have put their past behind them, abandoned stereotypes and moved forward. "We are facing a new era," the ambassador said, noting that it took a long time for Israelis and Greeks to understand that their geostrategic interests were best served through bilateral cooperation. "It took us a long time to understand that from this cooperation we stood only to gain and benefit the region," said Amrani.

The Israeli ambassador spoke about Israel's multidimensional relationship with Greece, noting that the two countries are pillars of stability and prosperity in the region.

According to an ELIAMEP announcement, the ambassador also referred to Greece's close historical ties with the Arab world and the fact that Israel's position in the world has changed in the last 10 years, so that it now has a strategic sphere of influence in the region.

Referring indirectly to Turkey, he said that the Greek-Israeli relationship is not based on the exclusion of third countries and an assessment that this relationship is based on the exclusion of a third force is wrong. "We want to secure Israel's role in the EU and Greece's in the Middle East, we need to work on the strategic aspect of our relationship," said Amrani.