Over the last few years, through different governments in Greece, Israel – Greece relations, have enjoyed, major progress, from cordial to warm intimate cooperation in different spheres. As the two countries are located in the Mediterranean and are so close, we share a common regional interest in stability, prosperity, and peace. Over almost two decades now we are witnessing an upgrade in strategic-security cooperation, intimate diplomatic exchanges through periodical summits, meetings of heads of governments, Ministerial, Government to Government meetings, and senior working levels.
As the International Community is facing the challenges of global warming, the pandemic, terror, and assaults on stability and democracy, the potential for cooperation between countries enjoying similar characteristics is ever-growing. Besides strategic cooperation, energy connectivity, the economic horizon is yet to be explored.
We are happy with the existing cooperation in tourism, investments in hotels, real estate and energy and are ready to strengthen cooperation in infrastructure, developing trade routes, agriculture and R&D. Greece’s economy heavily relies on tourism. Government policies together with EU support and funds may position Greece as an attractive destination for investments.
As mentioned before, the two countries are neighbors, sharing history, tradition, culture and interests in the region occupying its appropriate position in world affairs and enjoying prosperity. Our two countries are anchors of democracy and stability in a challenging world and region. It’s therefore natural and logical that we cooperate in aspects beyond national security. Israel sees in Greece a partner, regionally and beyond, as Greece is an EU and NATO member country. Through our respective diplomatic and international affairs networks we can advance our mutual interests.
Greece may be a gateway for Israel to European markets. Israel can certainly be a gateway for Greece in technology and innovation. We see a growing interest of Israeli businesses in real estate and tourism in Greece bearing in mind the impressive numbers of Israeli tourists to Greece, throughout the years, both on the mainland and the islands as well.
It’s my view that our economic cooperation should focus on energy, energy connectivity and renewable energy (solar and wind), both countries can benefit from each other’s experiences. In agriculture, agrotech and research there can be cooperation, having in mind the richness and quality of Greek products. In R&D, we have seen some progress in high tech cooperation, there’s room for much more.
I do believe that our two countries enjoy close cooperation and mutual respect. The people-to-people friendship is the engine for more cooperation.
Greece should not be for itself or for Israelis only a tourism first-class destination or real estate opportunity but also a partner in joint ventures connecting our countries, benefiting each other and most importantly turning the mutual respect into a yielding partnership.