ATHENS – After tying itself closer to American military cooperation, Greece is reaching out to Israel for another alliance as Turkey has raised fears of a conflict over its plan to drill for energy off Greek islands in disputed seas claims.
The defense ministries of the countries have been engaged in talks, said Kathimerini, citing high-ranking sources it didn’t identify, adding that Israel is becoming a key ally for Greece which had already brought in France and reached out to other countries.
That came after Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis made a day trip to Israel to meet with Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu, who is fighting round of corruption claims against his government.
The two discussed defense cooperation, tourism, research and development and economic cooperation and with Greece keen to open its tourism doors to Israelis again through mutual vaccination programs.
Israel wants to sell Greece weapons and systems that would give Greece a “qualitative edge” in its region, the same sources said.
Among the projects discussed are a new rifle for the Hellenic Army, high-precision projectiles and systems to counter unmanned aerial vehicles and drones – two types of vehicles that Turkey is heavily investing in, the paper added.
Israel is trying to keep a balance with Turkey, not wanting further alienation, but seen leaning more toward Greece, especially with the new administration of US President Joe Biden, who has many ties with the Diaspora.
Israel has asked Greece for its “understanding” of its rejection of the International Criminal Court’s decision to include the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza under its purview after the US, Germany and Australia had done so, favoring Israel.