Greece and Israel to expand military ties
ATHENSIsraeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak pledged in his official visit to Athens to further expand military cooperation with Greece.
“We are committed to working together and deepening our relationship,” Barak said after talks with his Greek counterpart Dimitris Avramopoulos. Greek daily Kathimerini claimed Greece is interested in purchasing Israeli-made Heron drones. The daily reported a new environment is emerging, with new defense agreements between Israel and Greek Cyprus and a deepening of the cooperation between Greece and Israel. After decades of cool relations, Greece and Israel have bolstered military and economic ties over the past two years, holding joint Air Force exercises and a flurry of exchange visits by government officials. The daily also reported an agreement had been signed over the purchase of a bomb direction system named SPICE from Greece. Avramopoulos stated cooperation between the two countries would also contribute to other countries in the region and create new wealth resources. “We have sincere and honest relations with Greece and it is not harmful toward any countries.”
Barak said ties with Greece “have never been so close.” The rapprochement coincided with deterioration in Israel’s relations with Turkey, but Avramopoulos stressed his country’s cooperation with Israel was “not aimed against anyone.” Athens is keen to boost international investment amid its acute debt crisis and has welcomed a recent increase in tourist arrivals from Israel.
Compiled from AFP and AA stories by the Daily News staff.