Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias' Sunday meetings with Israel's political leadership are unfolding 'in a particularly cordial and productive atmosphere,' diplomatic sources said on Sunday.
Dendias met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and his counterpart Minister of Foreign Affairs Yisrael Katz. He also met with members of the Greek Jewish Holocaust Survivors Union and the president of the Greek-Israeli Chamber of Commerce. "First of all, I am particularly pleased to have come to Israel. I am delighted to see the President of the Republic, Mr Rivlin," Dendias said in a statement after meetings.
Particular reference was made by Dendias to the bilateral relations between Greece and Israel, which he described as exceptional. "Our relations with Israel are excellent in all areas: political, cultural, commercial, and in areas of innovation," he said.
He also noted that relations are important at the tripartite level. "Cyprus-Greece-Israel, which we are trying to enlarge, to become a 3 + 1, that is, together with the United States, at least on some issues. But it will remain tripartite. Beyond that, I have to tell you that it is very important for us to be informed here, in Israel, about what is happening in Cyprus," he noted further.
"A clear message must be given to Turkey: It is unacceptable that the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus are being violated," said Dendias.
He said the relationship between Greece and Israel acts as a stabilizing factor in the region and described it as "very important, when also taking into account the poor relations between Israel and Turkey," and also pointed out that "it is always a good opportunity to explain to our Israeli friends the problems Greece faces with Turkish provocations."
Greece's foreign minister also laid a wreath at Yad Vashem, Israel's official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.
Dendias will be received by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem.