Israeli President Isaac Herzog landed in Athens, Greece on Thursday, where he was welcomed with a state ceremony at the Presidential Mansion, according to an official statement.

Before heading to the Presidential Mansion, where he held a diplomatic working meeting with Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulo, Herzog laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

At the start of his meeting with Sakellaropoulo, Herzog addressed the morning’s developments in Ukraine, calling the crisis a “historic moment, and a very complicated one.”

Addressing his Greek counterpart, he said, “Like you, I too feel great sorrow and concern about a humanitarian tragedy and, God forbid, injury to innocent civilians. Like many around the world I pray for peace to return between Russia and Ukraine. Israel, as our government has communicated, supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

“At this opportunity, I call on all Israeli citizens situated in Ukraine to return to Israel immediately, through the land crossings at the moment. We are, of course, concerned for the fate of the Jewish community in Ukraine, and we shall offer every possible humanitarian cooperation to the government of Ukraine in partnership with and together with other partners.”

Israeli President Isaac Herzog meets with Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulo at the Presidential Mansion in Athens, Feb. 24, 2022.

His visit to Greece, he said, was an “expression of the friendship and bold partnership between our countries, a strategic partnership.” It was a partnership rooted in shared values, friendship and also geographical proximity, he continued.

He invited Sakellaropoulo to visit Israel to witness for herself how “strong, admired and beloved” Greek culture is there.

He concluded his remarks by saying, “I believe, and I have from the first moment I entered office, that all nations in this region of the Mediterranean must work together, certainly in the face of common challenges, such as the climate crisis.”

He thanked Sakellaropoulo for her hospitality, and added, “I hope the whole world will know better days.”

After wrapping up his state visit to Greece, Herzog is scheduled to head on March 2 to Cyprus, where he is to meet with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, followed by an “expanded bilateral meeting.”

JNS

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