Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis had warm words for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the strengthened relationship between the two nations after the two leaders met on Monday.
Mitsotakis praised the swift rollout of coronavirus vaccines in the state of Israel, in which approximately 75% of citizens have now been inoculated, and praised the upcoming tourism agreement between Israel and Greece.
The Greek PM stated his approval for the agreement, which will be signed by the two nations’ tourism ministers, and said that “we would like to welcome Israeli tourists as soon as is feasible.”
Israeli companies eyeing Greek real estate
Speaking broadly of the economic ties, which are also deepening between the two countries, Mitsotakis said that there is room for “significant further investment on the part of Israeli companies in Greece.”
“There is a lot of interest,” he stated, “on the part of Israeli companies to invest in (Greek) real estate. And it’s already happening — not only in the tourism sector but also in the high-tech sector.
“Greece is making important steps in the right direction. We have so many excellent engineers that a lot of companies are realizing that it’s worthwhile to set up a presence in Greece,” he noted.
The Greek PM also stated his belief that Greece will “bounce back very robustly from the economic crisis after the coronavirus pandemic.”
Η στρατηγική σχέση μεταξύ Ελλάδας και Ισραήλ ενισχύεται όλο και περισσότερο. Η συνεργασία μας στον τομέα της Άμυνας εμβαθύνεται ενώ έχει εκφραστεί μεγάλο ενδιαφέρον από εταιρείες του Ισραήλ για επενδύσεις στον τομέα των ακινήτων, του τουρισμού αλλά και της τεχνολογίας. pic.twitter.com/vg89ANc0hl
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) February 8, 2021
New strategic partnership “significant”
The two Mediterranean leaders also spoke of security issues that have cropped up in the region of late, with the Greek PM stating afterward in their press conference that the new strategic partnership between the nations was “significant.” He then added that the Mediterranean “must remain a sea of peace for all countries.”
Praising the deepening of the ties between the two countries, Mitsotakis also said that Greece was “happy to have an Israeli company take over flight training in Greece for the next twenty years.” To be based in Kalamata, this operation, the Greek PM stated, will be the “most clear example of the partnerships we can build in defense” between Greece and Israel.
The two leaders also discussed a new medicine against the coronavirus which is now being manufactured in Israel, with Mitsotakis stating to the press he was “pleased to have discussed it.” He then went on to say that Greece will participate in clinical trials for the medicine.
Earlier on Monday, after PM Mitsotakis had met with Cypriot President Anastasiades, the Greek PM stated that it is unlikely the “substantial” talks to reunify the island of Cyprus could resume if Turkey and Turkish Cypriots keep up their insistence for a two-state agreement. Such an accord would be in complete defiance of a UN and European Union-endorsed framework.
The Greek leader explained that in speaking of such an agreement, the leaders of Turkey and the breakaway Turkish Cypriots are “outside the framework” of an envisioned federation, comprising Greek and Turkish speaking zones that the two sides had agreed could form the basis of a peace deal more than 40 years ago.