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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-08-06

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greek, Israeli Presidents look to intensified contacts

  • [01] Greek, Israeli Presidents look to intensified contacts

    AMNA/ The intensification of contacts between Greece and Israel, with emphasis on the sectors of investments, energy, tourism, shipping, agricultural development, the environment and commerce as agreed on Monday during a meeting between President Karolos Papoulias and visiting Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres, who arrived in Athens earlier in the day on a state visit at the invitation of his Greek counterpart.

    The two Presidents inspected an Honour Guard in the official welcome for Peres in the morning, then went into a private meeting, and were afterwards joined by the Greek and Israeli delegations for talks.

    Papoulias told reporters, in joint statements with Peres, that the InterGovernmental Cooperation Council will be convened as soon as possible, and will contribute to further strengthening the close relations between the two countries.

    Papoulias briefed Peres on the economic crisis Greece is facing, noting that to a great degree it is the manifestation of a systemic crisis of the euro and adding that without a common economic governance and steps towards political unification, the European monetary union was heading to an impasse.

    The Greek president further briefed his Israeli counterpart on the Greek national issues, and mainly the Cyprus issue, stressing that its solution will contribute to stability in the wider region, adding that he looks forward to Israel's support.

    "Greece condemns terrorism, from wherever it emanates, and supports the finding of a viable and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue that will be based on the creation of an independent Palestinian state that will coexist peacefully with Israel," Papoulias continued, adding that "for Greece, the security of Israel is an essential and mandatory aspect of the solution".

    Peres, in turn, said that the two countries belong to the same spiritual family but also the same geographical space, and now a "scientific dimension and a political process" has been added to the relations between Greece and Israel.

    "We are Mediterraneans, and we want peace in the Mediterranean," Peres said, adding that the desire was for the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians to end and a solution to be found for the two peoples, and for terrorism and poverty to stop.

    Terrorism puts everyone at risk without discrimination, Peres said, adding: "We saw this yesterday when a group of terrorists attacked a group of Egyptians. Fifteen were killed. We intervened to stop it. I want, first of all, to express my condolences to the families of those who were lost, because peace and security is demanded on our side and on the side of the Egyptians".

    Peres further referred to the economic significance of tourist, both for Greece and for Egypt, noting that a noble goal is "to want a world full of tourists, not terrorists".

    "We can cooperate politically, scientifically and in the economy," Peres said, adding: "Greece, both in the past and now, has exceptional brains, exceptional scientists, and I believe that much can be done in cooperation between your and our researchers so that we will all benefit from it".

    On the economic crisis, Peres said that it is "a European crisis", noting that "there is at this time a passage from the old to the new world".

    "The bridge between the old and new world is scientific. Our two countries can work together. We can overcome the crisis and bring something positive to everyone. The crisis is the beginning for something new. It is tough for the people, but it is good for the future. Greece has the courage to follow the difficult path for overcoming it, and I believe it will succeed," the Israeli president continued.

    Peres said that Greece is greatly esteemed by Israel, and the field is open an "we will proceed".

    "We will do it," the visiting dignitary concluded.

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