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Middle East: the Greek aspect of the conflict

Middle East: the Greek aspect of the conflict


The situation that has developed in Israel and Gaza over the past 24 hours indirectly affects some of the broader Greek discoveries in the Middle East region, says Kathimerini columnist Vasilis Nedos.

Obviously, bilateral relations between Greece and Israel are not affected. However, temporary obstacles are placed in the way of creating new synergies, using as tools various trilateral cooperation schemes between Greece and the Republic of Cyprus with Israel and other countries in the region, in combination with the Abraham Accords between Israel and – mainly – the Gulf monarchies.

Let us recall that at the recent trilateral meeting of Greece, the Republic of Cyprus and Israel in Nicosia (September 4), the issue of energy interconnection with Saudi Arabia and, in the longer term, with India was put on the agenda. In general, discussions about the export of Israeli and Eastern Mediterranean gas to Europe are moving to a different level.

Turkish variable

Athens is also watching with particular interest how Ankara manages developments. In the first 24 hours, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tried to balance the need to maintain a strong momentum towards full normalization of relations with Israel without conflicting with public sentiment, especially with the pro-AKP and outspoken support of Hamas and Palestinian cause.


However, last night Ankara showed it was leaning towards aligning itself with Turkish popular sentiment and also seized the opportunity to violently attack the US, days after a Turkish drone was shot down in northern Syria.


Negative impact on wider synergies such as those with Saudi Arabia and, in the longer term, India. As the crisis unfolds and as the Israeli Defense Forces prepare for a multi-front fight, the importance of Israel’s cooperation with Cyprus and Greece becomes clear.

Already today, Larnaca Airport has practically become a transit station for Israelis either leaving or returning to their country. However, at the same time, Athens keeps channels open with all countries in the region. Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis spoke by telephone with his Egyptian and Syrian counterparts and also had contacts on the sidelines of the Council conference EU and the Persian Gulf in Muscat (Oman).

Five point plan

During his speech at the conference, Mr. Gerapetritis developed a five-point plan to resolve the conflict in Israel and the Gaza Strip. In it, Georgios Gerapetrit offers:

  • First, unanimous condemnation of violence, terrorism and inhumane treatment.
  • Secondly, the immediate release of all hostages and abductees.
  • Thirdly, refrain from any aggressive actions against civilians.
  • Fourth, ensuring humanitarian assistance and humanitarian corridors so that no life is put at risk.
  • Fifth, convening a special summit on the situation in the Middle East with the participation of the UN, the EU, the League of Arab States and two interested parties – Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Strong condemnation of the attack on Israel

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in response to the deadly Hamas terrorist attack in southern Israel, expressed a categorical position during joint statements with his Estonian counterpart Kaia Kalas, who recently visited Greece: “Borders cannot be violated, terrorist actions cannot go unanswered.”

“It is natural that, as allies, we must have a common position in the face of international challenges and dramatic events in the Middle East. Together with the EU and the entire civilized world, our governments condemn the bloody terrorist attack on Israel, and with it, of course, those “The terrible scenes we have seen – murders, abductions of civilians. At the same time, we recognize the right of defenders to self-defense, of course, striving for the speedy restoration of peace,” – said the Prime Minister. In this context, he spoke about “events that not only undermine a just solution in this troubled region, violating the sovereignty of an independent state, but, unfortunately – and we in our own neighborhood understand this well – they are fueling tensions across a wide arc of the world map. With many parallel consequences, starting from disruption of international security and the economy, and ending, unfortunately, with a resurgence of migration.”

In turn, the Prime Minister of Estonia, also condemning the attack on Israel, said that the two countries may be far from each other geographically, but they have a common European vision and common values, and also thanked Greece for its support in the war in Ukraine, saying: “I want to thank Greece and especially you, Kyriakos, for supporting Ukraine. Our response to this situation must be united. We need tougher sanctions against Russia, given the ongoing war crimes.”

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