skip to Main Content
Greek  Prime Minister Meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu In Jerusalem

Greek Prime Minister meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem

Statements by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis following his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem – February 8, 2021 Thank you Prime Minister for your kind words, it is always my pleasure to be in Israel. I remember that our previous meeting took place during the first wave of the crisis caused by the coronavirus. A lot has changed since then, some things have remained
unchanged. But I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on the speed with which you are vaccinating your population, which will allow us, when a significant percentage of the population has been vaccinated and lifted your travel restrictions, to offer Israeli tourists the opportunity to pass their holidays in Greece without additional restrictions. I am glad that the Ministers of Tourism will sign a cooperation agreement in the field of tourism, on which we have been working for a long time. I am a strong supporter of the idea of ​​a vaccination certificate within the European Union. We need to facilitate travelers who have a vaccination certificate. This is what we intend to do with Israel, as it is the country that has moved very fast in the direction of vaccinating the majority of the population. It is my great pleasure that our two Ministries are working in this direction. And I really hope that I will be able to welcome tourists from Israel to Greece as soon as possible. You touched on other aspects of our strategic relationship, which is getting stronger and stronger as the months go by. As you said, this is a partnership in which we have invested a lot. We represent two ancient civilizations. Two republics of the Eastern Mediterranean. It is in the common interest of stability in the wider region. While I believe that we also share a common perspective on what should happen in the Eastern Mediterranean, in order to remain a peaceful and secure region for the countries of the region. You know that our strategic cooperation in the field of Defense is also deepening. We are very pleased that a company from Israel has undertaken and offered aviation training services in Greece for the next 20 years. It is a big program, which will be based in Kalamata. And I think that is the most indicative example of the cooperation that we can build in the field of Defense. While I believe that there is a very significant margin for additional investment by Israeli companies in Greece. I am sure that the recovery of Greece in the post-Covid era will be very strong. I know that there has been a great deal of interest from Israeli companies in investing in real estate. This is already happening in Greece, in the tourism sector. But also in the field of advanced technology, where Greece is taking important steps in the right direction. We have excellent engineers and many international companies understand that it is worthwhile to operate in Greece. And I’m sure Israeli companies will seize the opportunity as well. So we can really do a lot of things. And I’m certainly very happy that we talked about this new drug, which caught our interest in the international press. As soon as we overcome the regulatory obstacles, which can be done very quickly, it will be our great pleasure for Greece to participate in the clinical trials. So let’s hope it’s effective. We will be really relieved if a medicine can be found that can cure the disease. Thank you very much again for the warm welcome. I look forward to your next visit to Greece. The following are the questions to the Prime Minister: Dimitris Gatsios (ERT): One question for both. Prime Minister Mitsotakis and Prime Minister Netanyahu, I would like to ask you about the expectations of the two countries regarding the use of the possibilities offered by the digital vaccination certificate, in view of the beginning of the tourist season. Kyriakos Mitsotakis: I think we have already commented on that. I am in favor of a digital vaccination certificate in the European Union, for travel within the EU. But at the same time we want to ensure that we will easily receive digital vaccination certificates from third countries. This is exactly the project we are working on with Israel. And I estimate that Israel will be the first country that can offer such a certificate for trips to Greece, because -as I told you- you have managed to vaccinate a larger percentage of your population and you are moving at a fast pace. I expect that what we will do with Israel will be, in essence, a test of what we can do with other countries. I expect there will be a great demand for travel once we deal with the coronavirus. Citizens are tired, they want to travel, they did not travel much last year. Greece, according to all epidemiological data, remains much safer than most European countries. But I expect that by April we will have reduced the epidemic much more. We are also moving fast with the vaccination plan and we know that this virus has a clear element of seasonality. So I look forward to these vaccination certificates, “fast lanes”, whatever you call them, they are essentially an easy vaccination certificate that will allow you to enter the country without additional restrictions. Question from a journalist (from the Israeli media): Mr. Mitsotakis. A question. Did you ask Mr. Netanyahu for guarantees that reconciliation between Israel and Turkey will not be to the detriment of Greece? Kyriakos Mitsotakis: I do not know if the future will bring reconciliation between Turkey and Israel but I can tell you that we do not define our relations in the context of third countries. We have a very strong bilateral relationship. As you know, there are issues with Turkey, but things seem to be improving and to the extent that we do not see further aggressive actions from the Turkish side, we will, of course, continue the exploratory contacts. In any case, the value of this relationship is too great to be redefined by other factors in the region. Source: Government of Greece

To continue reading please subscribe or log in.

PortSEurope offers an English-language daily coverage from over 200 ports in the Mediterranean, Black and Caspian Seas as well as a fully indexed and easily searchable database with more than 15,000 articles.

Subscribe now
Back To Top