Netanyahu will become the first Israeli prime minister to visit Greece.
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
Binyamin Netanyahu will become the first Israeli prime minister to visit Greece when he heads to Athens on Monday for a 36-hour trip, along with his senior staff.Netanyahu will meet with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, senior Greek officials and members of the Jewish community.The two leaders met last month in Jerusalem, when Papandreou became the first Greek premier to visit Israel in 18 years.As part of Israel’s shifting ties in the greater Mediterranean region, its links with Greece has recently grown stronger, just as its relationship with Greece’s adversary Turkey has deteriorated.Monday’s visit is the latest sign of the new closeness between the two countries.An Israeli official said that “the relationship has warmed in the last [few] months” and that Netanyahu was looking forward to expanding the bilateral relations with Greece in a series of areas: defense, diplomacy, economic trade and the environment.Greece is interested in Israeli technology, particularly as it relates to environmental issues such as water shortages and solar energy.AdvertisementPapandreou has chartered a much more moderate policy toward Israel than his predecessors since taking office in October.In the past, Greece has been considered one of Israel’s harshest critics.
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