The conservative New Democracy party, led by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who has worked to strengthen his country's ties with Israel, won almost 41% of the vote on Sunday.
The result left New Democracy five seats short of a 151-seat majority. Mitsotakis, who has been premier since 2019, may seek a second election in June that could allow his party to pick up bonus seats, so that he will not have to form a coalition.
"The people wanted the choice of a Greece run by a majority government and by New Democracy without the help of others," Mitsotakis said, according to the BBC.
Mitsotakis was key to warm relations between Greece, Israel and Cyprus
Mitsotakis is a key figure in the increasingly warm relations between Greece, Israel and Cyprus in recent years. The three countries have held eight trilateral summits.
Athens, Nicosia and Jerusalem have a shared interest in cooperating on natural gas extraction and exports. The countries worked together to plan the EastMed Pipeline, meant to be the longest in the world, from Israel to Europe via Cyprus and Greece. However, in recent weeks, Jerusalem and Nicosia have discussed a new plan, in which Israeli natural gas would be brought to a liquification plant to be constructed in Cyprus.
Greece and Cyprus are also members of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, which Israel and Egypt founded.
The closeness between Israel, Greece and Cyprus was underscored by tensions between Israel and Turkey, Greece and Cyprus's historic rival. Though Israel and Turkey have sought to repair relations in recent years, Israeli leaders also reassured Greece that relations will remain as close as they were.
As Israel and Turkey made progress on their rapprochement last year, a senior diplomatic source said that Israel-Greece ties are important to Jerusalem, and that Athens's view on Ankara must be taken into consideration.
“We talk about Iran obsessively, and they’re the same with Turkey. That’s what they’re stressed about. And diplomatic relationships require some loyalty,” the senior diplomatic source stated.
Mitsotakis was also a member of a forum of leaders of seven states, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that shared ideas and advice on combatting COVID-19 and administering vaccines.