Israeli President Simon Peres has begun a three-day visit to Greece with the aim of boosting ties between the two countries and identifying investment opportunities for Israeli businessmen. Speaking to Sunday’s To Vima newspaper ahead of his visit, Peres suggested there were a number of areas where there could be economic cooperation between the two countries.
“Greece has high mountains, which will bring you tourists but you also need high technology, which will bring you investment,” he said.
“About 20 percent of Greece’s land can be cultivated. We can do a lot of things and would be happy if we can help. Quite a few Israeli investors are interested.”
Peres, who is visiting Greece for the first time, is due meet Prime Minister Antonis Samaras for a working lunch on Monday.
Peres’s trip follows a visit by Greek President Karolos Papoulias to Israel last year and the signing of cooperation deals in various areas, such as tourism and energy, between the two countries.
Diplomatic sources told Kathimerini that they see Peres’s visit as the continuation of the improvement in ties, which was triggered by a deterioration in relations between Israel and Turkey.
Greece has also seen a rise in the number of Israeli tourists visiting the country. Some 400,000 have already taken vacations in Greece this year.
Peres will be accompanied by Israeli Agriculture Minister Orit Noked. She will hold talks with Greek officials with the aim of exchanging know-how and promoting investment in Greece.