Needing Israeli tourists and cooperation for energy deals and as an ally against Turkey, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis went to Jerusalem to meet Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who's being tried on charges of taking gifts from wealthy friends and now asking them to pay for his defense.
Mitsotakis arrived June 16 for the start of a two-day visit during which the leaders are expected to sign a number of agreements on tourism, agricultural cooperation, cybersecurity and technology.
Israel is among the first countries whose residents are being allowed to come to Greece with the reopening of the Athens and Thessaloniki international airports on June 15 and a full reopening of tourism and airports on July 1.
During the visit, six Greek ministers will participate in a high-level Greek-Israeli ministerial council. Mitsotakis is also expected to meet with businesspeople and investment groups, said Kathimerini.
Mitsotakis, in an interview with YNet News, a national daily newspaper in Tel Avia, said, “My first visit abroad after the lockdown is to Israel and it signals our strategic partnership and the deep emotional bond between Greeks and Israelis.”
“The cooperation between our countries is reaching unprecedented heights. There is a huge potential for concerted action in all sectors such as investments, defense, technology, innovation and tourism and also health,” he also said.
“The cooperation between Greece and Israel, in such turbulent times, is instrumental in strengthening stability, security and prosperity, to the benefit of our peoples and of Eastern Mediterranean,” he added.
In January, Greece, Cyprus and Israel signed a deal to build a 1,900 kilometer (1,180 mile) subsea pipeline to carry natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean’s rapidly developing gas fields to Europe, the so-called East Med pipeline pact.