Mitsotakis to Netanyahu: "Israel can count on Greece's support and help"

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 23 October 2023 in Israel

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met on Monday with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and promised that Greece will continue supporting the Jewish state and expressed his horror and sorrow at Hamas' terrorist attacks against Israel.

Mitsotakis underlined Israel's right to self-defence in accordance with international law.

He reiterated the need to protect civilians, free the Israelis held hostage by Hamas and avoid a humanitarian crisis.

The prime minister's exchange with Netanyahu at the start of their meeting was as follows:

Benjamin Netanyahu: Prime Minister, my dear friend Kyriakos, I am very glad to see you here. I always say that the best thing, besides standing with Israel, is being in Israel. I appreciate your solidarity, that of your government and the Greek people, in this dark hour. It is a battle of civilisation against barbarism. We are on the side of civilisation, and we must all unite against Hamas, which is the Islamic State (ISIS).

Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Thank you very much, Prime Minister, dear Bibi. I come here not only as an ally but as a true friend. What happened was truly horrific. From the first moment, Greece defended and supported Israel's right to self-defence, according to International Law. We made a very clear distinction between Hamas and the Palestinian people. We will continue to support you and hope that whatever happens must happen without great humanitarian cost. You can count on our support and help.
Benjamin Netanyahu: Thank you, my friend. Thank you.

The meeting in photos

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 23 October 2023 in Israel

During the meeting, the prime minister expressed disgust and anguish over Hamas' terrorist attacks against Israel.

According to International Law, Kyriakos Mitsotakis underlined Israel's right to self-defence and reiterated the need to protect civilians, free Israelis held hostage by Hamas and avoid a humanitarian crisis.

The prime minister arrived early in the morning in Israel, confirming the information that had been around since Sunday afternoon that today he would make the trip that did not take place last week.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 23 October 2023 in Israel

The meeting took place in Jerusalem.

The meeting was attended by the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, George Gerapetritis; the Minister of State, Stavros Papastavrou; the director of the diplomatic office of the Prime Minister, Anna-Maria-Heleni Boura and the Greek ambassador to Israel, Kyriakos Loukakis.

The prime minister had a warm embrace with Benjamin Netanyahu. The two delegations discussed all the burning issues of the region for some time.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 23 October 2023 in Israel

Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed his disgust and pain over the terrorist attacks by Hamas.

At the same time, he underlined Israel's right to self-defence and the need to protect civilians, release the hostages and avoid a humanitarian crisis.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 23 October 2023 in Israel

FM Gerapetritis: Greece is present in diplomatic efforts to resolve the Middle East crisis

Greece is following a steady foreign policy for the Middle East based on principles that are not determined by current events or exchanges, and as a country, is at the forefront of developments in the region, Foreign Affairs Minister George Gerapetritis said in an interview published on Sunday.

In 'Proto Thema newspaper, Gerapetritis said Greece follows a fundamental principle of condemning every form of violence or terrorism. In this framework, it condemned Hamas' terrorist attacks and recognised Israel's right to self-defence, he said, within the framework of International Law.

"We proposed from the very start a specific plan to defuse the crisis that included both the condemnation of terrorism and, further, the establishment of humanitarian corridors, the provision of humanitarian help to all vulnerable people, the release of all hostages, the non-targeting of civilians, and the carrying out of an international conference for the Middle East issue," the Greek FM said, noting the international conference on the issue that took place in Egypt on Saturday that EU and Arab countries attended, including the Greek prime minister and himself.

Gerapetritis told the newspaper the situation in the Middle East is fragile, and there could be a full-scale worsening in the region from one moment to the next. It is necessary to "be fully prepared to handle any further tension that crops up in the Middle East, he underlined.

He also mentioned that large-scale projects like the India-Middle East-Europe corridor and the Greece-Cyprus-Israel power grid connection will continue developing, but constant vigilance was necessary. "Greece is at the forefront of new international trade and energy roads," he asserted.

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