(February 1, 2023 / JNS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday urged Athens to support the Jewish state at the United Nations during a meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in Jerusalem.
The call comes after Greece abstained during December’s passage by the U.N. General Assembly of a resolution to have the International Court of Justice “render urgently an advisory opinion” on Israel’s “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of Palestinian territory.”
Netanyahu nevertheless thanked Dendias for the “close relations” between the two countries, which he said are expressed in numerous fields, most notably energy. In this respect, the prime minister instructed National Security Council Director Tzachi Hanegbi to coordinate a trilateral meeting between the leaders of Israel, Greece and Cyprus on this issue.
The summit would be the ninth of its kind; then-Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett hosted Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades in Jerusalem in December 2021.
Netanyahu and Dendias furthermore discussed the need to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and opportunities for expanding the “cycle of peace,” including with Abraham Accords countries.
Also participating in Tuesday’s meeting were Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, Israeli Ambassador to Greece Noam Katz and Greek Ambassador to Israel Kyriakos Loukakis, among others.
In December, officials announced the groundbreaking for the world’s longest and deepest underwater power cable, crossing the Mediterranean seabed bridging Asia and Europe. The EuroAsia Interconnector, nicknamed the “energy highway,” will connect the national electricity grids of Israel, Cyprus and Greece.
Over a decade in the planning, construction of the mammoth, €2.5 billion ($2.63 billion) first phase will now get underway, with 50% of the total cost secured.
The project comes amid burgeoning relations between Israel and both Cyprus and Greece over the last decade and a half in a variety of fields including tourism, medicine, cyber security and military cooperation in the face of a volatile and intermittently-menacing regional leader, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, although relations between Jerusalem and Ankara have improved of late.
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