Greece strongly condemns the Russian attack against an independent country, Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said during an official lunch in honor of visiting Israeli President Isaac Herzog, and expressed the hope that common sense will prevail and a diplomatic solution will be found.
At the dinner at the Presidential Mansion in Athens, Sakellaropoulou welcomed Herzog to his first visit to Greece as president of Israel, and said he was an old friend of Greece. She referred to the fact that Greece and Israel have long historical pasts and noted the common progress of both peoples was reflected in numerous monuments and artefacts through the Classical, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras to the present.
She also referred to the Holocaust, which included thousands of Greek Jews, and to the fight against semitism.
“Our strategic collaboration multiplies our power and upgrades us to pillars of stability in the East Mediterranean,” the Greek president said.
“Greece and Israel form a secure geopolitical path between the Middle East and Europe.” This excellent collaboration is reflected in several sectors, particularly in those of defense and energy, she underlined, referring as well to the trilateral collaboration with Cyprus.
Israel’s government, like that of Greece, has “made an explicit statement about the situation and negative results of the violation of international right, and our request is that Ukraine’s independence and integrity be maintained,” visiting Israeli President Herzog said.
Greece is one of the first country he is visiting since assuming office, he said, and this is not simply a matter of being a neighboring country but points to the significance of the relationship between the two countries.
Herzog spoke of the relations of the two peoples going back in human history, and cited a quotation by the late professor and rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who said that although wise men were appreciated, only two human societies committed to spreading knowledge and wisdom – the ancient Greek and Jewish cultures, which created academies for this purpose.
Greece and Israel are peace-loving nations, and Israel fought for its independence for centuries, the visiting official said. Its purpose is to boost stability and prosperity in the region. “Greece’s location and its prestige allow it to become a bridge between the Middle East and Europe and the European Union. If we succeed in deepening our collaboration and include more countries in our joint purpose, then all of us stand to benefit,” Herzog said, adding that the challenges are many.