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INTERNATIONAL > Israel assures Greece over normalization with Turkey: Report

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the first cabinet meeting after the swearing-in of the new Israeli government in Jerusalem on March 18, 2013. AFP PHOTO/POOL/DAVID VAAKNIN

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the first cabinet meeting after the swearing-in of the new Israeli government in Jerusalem on March 18, 2013. AFP PHOTO/POOL/DAVID VAAKNIN

The normalization of ties with Turkey will not affect Israel’s relations with Greece, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told his Greek counterpart, Antonis Samaras.

The two leaders also agreed to hold a meeting between the two governments in the near future, during a telephone call on March 22, following the U.S.-brokered deal, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

Athens is keenly interested in Israel’s economic rapprochement with Greek Cyprus to develop offshore gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean. Relations with Greece have also been warming, with the two countries engaging in joint naval and air exercises. Israeli, Greek and U.S. warships recently ended a joint two-week Mediterranean naval exercise code-named “Noble Dina.”

Israel and Greece also signed an accord in March 2012 to lay an underwater electricity cable between the Mediterranean nations, the first stage in a bid to transfer power between Israel and mainland Europe.

March/25/2013

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