US Jewish, Greek groups explore Israel- Greece-Cyprus ties

The 12-member delegation is scheduled to convene in Jerusalem from Sunday to Wednesday, then continue to Nicosia, Cyprus, for a day and make their final stop in Athens.

A man holding a Greek flag walks on central Syntagma square in Athens. (photo credit: REUTERS)
A man holding a Greek flag walks on central Syntagma square in Athens.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK – Leaders of American Jewish and Hellenic groups have joined together to visit Israel, Greece and Cyprus in order to “evaluate the critical and developing relationship among these three countries in security, energy, economics and political areas,” B’nai B’rith International, which is taking part in the initiative, announced.
The 12-member delegation is scheduled to convene in Jerusalem from Sunday to Wednesday. The participants will then continue to Nicosia, Cyprus, for a day and make their final stop in Athens from January 14 to 18.
The delegations’ members come from four organizations: B’nai B’rith International, the Conference of Presidents of Jewish Organizations, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association and the American Hellenic Institute.
Through their visit, the group leaders will discuss possibilities for enhancing cooperation and understanding among them.
“The strategic relationship between Greece, Cyprus and Israel has evolved, helping to lend stability to the region with broader implications,” B’nai B’rith International and the Conference of Presidents wrote in a joint statement. “The delegation of American Hellenic and American Jewish community leaders plans to explore the major policy issues and concerns as well as ways to foster ties between the people of the three countries.”
As part of the trips, they will also visit military installations to study the security challenges in the area.
A three-way summit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia that is due to take place at the end of the month.
The formal announcement of that summit was made last month, soon after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signaled an interest in normalizing ties with Israel.
Netanyahu made reference to the meeting during a speech he delivered in the Knesset on December 16 saying that the three leaders will discuss the natural gas issue, the war on terror and Islamic extremism, and commercial and trade cooperation between their countries.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.