The prime ministers of Greece and Israel, on Wednesday (26.11) in Jerusalem, expressed satisfaction with the high-level “strategic cooperation” between the two countries and agreed to seek tangible ways to strengthen ties between the two countries and to bring Cyprus into their discussions, particularly regarding energy cooperation.

During his first official visit to Israel, PM Alexis Tsipras held high level talks with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu, announcing for the upcoming months a series of intergovernmental discussions between the two countries and a three-way Greek-Israeli-Cypriot summit to discuss regional energy cooperation.

The Greek PM said the talks between the two sides examined “the opportunities arising in the fields of energy in the Eastern Mediterranean” for cooperation “in research, drilling and transportation of natural gas to Europe” and the further enhancement of cooperation in areas such as tourism, economic relations, culture, research and technology. Tsipras expressed concern regarding the threat of jihadist terrorism and the need to encourage dialogue to end the conflict in Syria. On the Palestinian issue, he expressed concern about the escalation of violence, arguing that Athens wants to play a constructive role towards resolving the major problems at hand.

Noting that the two countries share a long-standing strategic partnership full of opportunities, Netanyahu expressed confidence in Tsipras to overcome the difficulties of rebuilding the Greek economy and added that he will encourage Israeli businesses to invest in Greece.

Earlier in the day, Tsipras also visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum to pay tribute to the victims of Nazism and laid a wreath at the Hall of Remembrance in memory of the 6 million Jews killed during the Holocaust.

Tsipras is holding talks today (26.11) with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and meeting with Patriarch Theofilos at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Government officials in the Greek delegation include Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, Minister of State Nikos Pappas, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Christos Spirtzis and Government Spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili.