Israel asks to export gas to Europe through Greece

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon in Athens to discuss deal.

November 22, 2011 03:27
2 minute read.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon

Danny Ayalon 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon will land in Greece on Tuesday to talk about joint exploration of natural gas from the Mediterranean Sea, the inclusion of a party accused of anti-Semitism in Greece’s new unity government and how to lever the power of the diaspora.

“Greece is a strategically important country due to its proximity to us in the Eastern Mediterranean and especially due to the discovery of oil and gas,” he said on Monday over the phone.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

“We’re going to talk about making Greece and Cyprus distribution centers for Israeli gas to Europe, which needs to diversify its sources.”

During his two-day visit Ayalon is scheduled to meet with newly appointed Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Dimas and members of the local Jewish community.

The deputy minister, who was involved in a diplomatic spat with Turkey two years ago, said talks between Jerusalem and Athens would in no way impact Turkey, Greece’s neighbor and historical rival.

“We are stressing in Jerusalem and Athens that the strengthening of our ties is based on bringing a positive contribution to the region and is not aimed against anyone else,” he said.

Another issue on the agenda will be how to lever the power of expatriate communities.

Greece, which gave the world the word diaspora – which means scattering and was first used in ancient times to describe Greek outposts spread out across the Mediterranean – is interested in learning from Israel how to cultivate ties with Greek communities abroad, Ayalon said.

“They have a Greek diaspora in the US which has parallels with the Jewish Diaspora there,” said Ayalon. “One of the things that I will propose is to hold a meeting in New York between local Greek groups and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations.”

Ayalon will also meet with members of Greece’s Jewish community where the subject of the inclusion of the rightist LAOS party – whose leader has been accused of making anti-Semitic statements – in the new unity government is likely to come up.

“We understand what goes behind having a unity government and having a wider array of parties in the specific set of circumstances Greece is in,” said a source in Jerusalem, referring to the country’s severe economic crisis.

“We know there have been anti-Semitic statements by this party but we’re certain the new government will continue doing everything it can to fight anti-Semitism like the previous government.

We will also meet with the Jewish community in Greece and with the politicians we meet we will raise the issue in informal talks.”

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN