FM Dendias with Israeli counterpart discuss regional security and development

Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias met with his Israeli counterpart Israel Katz in Athens on Thursday and discussed security in the region, comparing notes on aggression by Turkey in Greece’s case and Iran in Israel’s.

In joint statements afterwards, the Israeli FM summed up regional challenges pertaining to both Iran and Turkey when he said that “there’s Iran, with its nuclear program, ballistic missiles and the support of terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas (in Gaza), and there’s also Turkey, with its attack on Kurds in Syria and its violations by both sea and air, with the support of extremist organizations that are associated with Arab countries.”

Dendias, making a resounding statement on Turkey’s recent provocative actions in the East Mediterranean and Syria, said that “Turkey’s attitude undermines regional stability, development and peace.” He also underlined the “need to respect international law as the foundation of peaceful coexistence and prosperity of all regional peoples.”

Concerning the situation in Syria, Dendias prioritized what he called the country’s territorial integrity, called for a political solution to the Syrian civil war and reiterated that Greece supports the efforts of the UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen, whom he met in Luxembourg recently.

Dendias made a special mention to the fact that the meeting reaffirmed both Greece’s and Israel’s strong interest in energy cooperation and exploitation of natural gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean and also south of Crete. He also emphasized the significance of the EastMed pipeline, which would result from the fruitful strategic cooperation among Cyprus, Greece, Israel and Italy, and would promote the Cyprus-Greece-Israel electricity interconnection.

Apart from what the Greek Defense Minister called the catalytical alignment of both countries’ strategic interests with ‘their most important ally-the US,’ cooperation in the fields of investments, innovation, technology, tourism and trade was also discussed.

Finally, Katz told Dendias of his ambitious plan for a rail interconnection between the eastern Mediterranean with the Arab world.