President of Israel in Greece
Shimon Peres, President of Israel, completed a three-day state visit to Greece on August 9 at the invitation of Karolos Papoulias, President of the Hellenic Republic. The purpose of the visit was to upgrade bilateral relations and to focus discussions between the two countries on investment, energy, tourism, shipping, agricultural development, environmental management, and commerce.
Mr. Papoulias briefed Mr. Peres on the economic crisis Greece is facing, noting that to a great degree it is the manifestation of a systemic crisis of the Euro and adding that without common economic governance and steps toward political unification, the European monetary union was heading to an impasse. Mr. Peres said that the two countries belong to the same spiritual family but also the same geographical space, and now a "scientific dimension and a political process" has been added to the relations between Greece and Israel.
President Papoulias said, “The convergence of interests in Eastern Mediterranean allow for the establishment of a strategic relationship—with the Republic of Cyprus being an integral component—considering that the discovery of significant underwater natural gas deposits and the transport of Israeli and Cypriot natural gas to Europe via Greece change the geo-economic and geopolitical framework in the greater region.”
Greece's Agricultural Development and Foods Minister Athanassios Tsaftaris met with Israeli Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Orit Noked during the formal visit and discussed forging even closer bilateral cooperation in the sectors of water conservation and management, organic farming, the production and distribution of Protected Destination of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) products, applied farm research, land improvement projects and aquiculture. (Source: ANA)