PM: Greece, Israel can work closer on energy, tourism

Bilateral ties between Greece and Israel have been upgraded in recent years but potential still exists for further development of mutual interests in the sectors of tourism, energy and culture, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told a news conference in Jerusalem yesterday, the opening day of an official two-day visit to Israel, following a meeting with Israeli peer Benjamin Netanyahu.

Commenting on the bilateral energy prospects, Tsipras expressed interest in Israel’s natural gas export prospects. Tsipras noted Greek and Israeli energy sector authorities would continue working on mutual interests, while a three-way meeting would be arranged to also include the participation of Cypriot president Nikos Anastasiadis.

The Leviathan gas field, off the coast of Israel, is now set to be exploited, which could establish Israel as a major energy player in the Middle East.

Netanyahu, who took part in the joint news conference, made note of the deep friendship binding the two nations, while also expressing hope for a Greek economic recovery.

During their meeting, Tsipras and Netanyahu also discussed the turmoil in the Middle East, focusing on the dangers entailed in the spread of Islamist extremism as well as the need for an end to the Syrian civil war.