Meetings to focus on implementation of Trilateral Summit agreements; Pavlopoulos to meet with Rivlin
Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos will arrive in Israel Wednesday and is scheduled to meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. The visit is the first by a Greek official since Israel, Greece and Cyprus announced the “Trilateral Summit Declaration” in January- future cooperation between the three countries in the areas of energy, technology, research, tourism, combatting terrorism and most importantly, natural gas import/export.
Pavlopoulos stated on Greek-Israeli relations that “Relations between the two states have reached unprecedented levels. We are marching together toward a more promising, and challenging, future that is based on a strategic partnership between the two states… The economic relations between the two countries are terrific. Bilateral trade grew by 32% over the past year. There are currently 30 joint projects that involves Greek and Israeli companies, and we will soon invite additional companies to take part in more projects.”
The trilateral declaration is expected to enter the fields of “agriculture, forestation, joint fire-fighting efforts, environmental protection including marine pollution, joint emergency response to natural disasters, exchange of information in emergency situations, joint search and rescue exercises, health, management of epidemics, joint scientific projects, development of renewable energy technologies, education, communications and trilateral roaming agreements, and commercial shipping.” The agreement is most significant because of Israel’s strategic advantage due to its gas fields, the agreements with Greece and Cyprus for the export of Eastern Mediterranean gas to continental Europe.
Pavlopoulos stated on the gas pipeline that “An underwater natural gas pipeline from the Israeli gas fields, through Cyprus to Greece, will serve as a convenient commercial bridge to Europe.” He additionally stated that “Israelis have proven their loyalty over the years by visiting Greece again and again. We feel the love and appreciation between the two peoples, which is based, in part, on a shared history, culture, the arts and music. Israelis know and love Greece, and everyone has their own magical place there; but we also recommend that people explore new places in the country; after all, we are just a 90 minute flight away.”