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FACTDROP: Barak pledges to expand military ties with Greece in Athens visit
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1/10/2012

Barak pledges to expand military ties with Greece in Athens visit


Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak with his Greek counterpart Dimitris Avramopoulos, Athens, Greece, Jan. 10, 2012

Πηγή: Haaretz
By AP
Jan 10 2012

Israeli Defense Minister meets Greek counterpart, readies to meet Greece PM, president, Foreign Minister and the head of the conservative party, which is part of the interim coalition government.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday pledged to further expand blossoming military cooperation with Greece, at the start of an official visit to Athens.

"We are committed to work together and deepen our relationship," Barak said after talks with his Greek counterpart, Dimitris Avramopoulos.

After decades of cool relations, Greece and Israel have bolstered military and economic ties over the past two years, holding joint air force exercises and a flurry of exchange visits by government officials.

Barak said ties with Greece "have never been so close."

The rapprochement coincided with a deterioration in Israel's relations with Turkey - Greece's traditional regional rival. But Avramopoulos stressed Tuesday that his country's cooperation with Israel "is not aimed against anyone."

Barak was due later Tuesday to meet Greece's prime minister, Lucas Papademos, as well as the country's president, foreign minister and the head of the conservative party, which is part of the interim coalition government.

Athens is keen to boost international investment amid its acute debt crisis, and has welcomed a recent increase in tourist arrivals from Israel.


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