Rivlin concludes Greece visit with praise for strong ties, security cooperation

President Rivlin lauded the warm relations between Israel and Greece and the growing security cooperation, which contributes to stability to the region.

By: Margot Dudkevitch

The deep security cooperation between Israel and Greece is critical, especially in view of developments in the region, President Reuven Rivlin said during a visit to a Greek naval base, before wrapping up his state visit to the country Wednesday. Accompanied by Israel Navy Commander Vice Admiral Eli Sharvit, Greece’s Defense Minister Panos Kammenos and the country’s Chief of Staff Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, Rivlin was greeted with an honor guard and 21 gun salute at the Salamis Naval base.

Referring to the historic battle that took place at the site in 480 BC between the Greeks and Persians, the Israeli president said he was honored to visit the base and the area that helped change world history. Referring to the Jewish State as a “desert country lying on a long coast,” Rivlin said Israel realized that the sea holds an abundance of opportunities. ”

“When Israel turns to the sea, we turn first to Greece and to Cyprus. The Greek Navy is an example of professionalism and excellence at the highest levels, and we seek to deepen the cooperation between the fleets and countries,” he said.

Taking into account the situation in Syria and its ramifications in the entire region, Rivlin noted the key to regional stability is based on establishing a joint regional force to deal with fires and marine recovery as well as continuing cooperation on the land, the sea and in the air.

Earlier in the day, Rivlin toured the Acropolis in Athens, deemed a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. The site became a symbol of Greece’s independence at the end of the Second World War when the flag of Nazi Germany was removed and replaced with the Greek flag.