Greece on Thursday expressed "serious concern" over Israeli attacks in Lebanon, and urged neighboring countries to show restraint. Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros also urged the Hizbullah to release Israeli soldiers held hostage. "Greece expresses its serious concern and is intensely troubled," Antonaros said. "It is vital, to stop the (situation) worsening, Hizbullah must immediately release the soldiers taken hostage," he said. "At the same time, Greece calls on the government of Israel to avoid the use of excessive and pointless force which cannot provide a solution to the problem." Greece has traditionally close ties with Arab countries but has also recently improved relations with Israel.