A high-profile Greek delegation, headed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, landed in Israel on Monday, February 8, to discuss regional matters with Israeli officials, including: coordinating policy on the EastMed pipeline which will connect the Leviathan gas fields in Israel’s territorial waters to Cyprus, Greece and eventually Europe; weapons and knowledge sales; the investment by Israeli capitalists in Greece; and a mutual tourism agreement in the age of the coronavirus.
Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis had warm words for his Israeli counterpart, far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as for strengthening the relationship between the two nations after the two leaders met in Jerusalem on Monday.
Speaking broadly of the deepening economic ties between the two countries, Mitsotakis said that there is room for “significant further investment on the part of Israeli companies in Greece.” The Greek PM stating afterward in their press conference that the new strategic partnership between the nations was “significant.”
Praising the deepening of the ties between the two countries, Mitsotakis also said that Greece was “happy to have an Israeli company take over military 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. Greece signed a twenty-year agreement with Israel for the creation of a Greek military aviation school for 1.68 billion dollars, which included ten M-346 aircraft and equipment for logistical support, in addition to a dozen T-6 training aircraft.
Communist Party of Greece Condemns Visit and Strengthened Ties
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) unequivocally condemned Mitsotakis’s visit to Israel conducted in the framework of the implementation of “strategic cooperation” between the two states, saying the visit “is in complete contradiction with the interests of the Greek people and the peoples of the region. Israel maintains its occupation of Palestinian territories, murders and imprisons Palestinian civilians, bombs Syria and threatens Iran.”
The KKE went on to say: “Greek-Israeli relations are one of the typical examples of [Greece’s] dangerous involvement in imperialist plans, promoted in the region by Israel, the USA and NATO. The New Democracy government, like the previous SYRIZA government, bears huge responsibilities. They deliberately refuse to proceed with the recognition of the Palestinian State, according to the relevant unanimous decision of the Greek Parliament in 2015.” The KKE reiterated its “solidarity with the Palestinian people and their just struggle, and demands that the government proceed with the immediate recognition of the Palestinian State.”