Defence Minister Panos Beglitis, speaking after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday on the second day of his official visit to Israel, termed cooperation between Greece and Israel a strategic option for both the Greek government and for Israel, as he ascertained during his meetings with the government and the country's political forces.
"It is evident that both countries have the political will to shape a stable strategy on all levels and of course in the sector of defence and military cooperation," the Greek minister said.
Beglitis added that both sides are concerned over developments in the wider region and this, as he said, was the focus of the meetings that he had both on Sunday with his counterpart Ehud Barak and his meeting with Netanyahu on Monday. He also expressed his fear over stability in the region, on the occasion of developments in the Arab world. "I fear the 'Arab spring' that created many expectations under specific preconditions and with a wider international initiative, developing into an 'Arab winter' and creating centrifugal forces, therefore contributing to the destabilisation of the wider region and harming the interests of Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean," the Defence minister said.
He also underlined that Greece and Israel are the two pylons of stability in the region, stressing that the discussion on developments on bilateral Israeli-Turkish relations and its threats on research in the exclusive economic zone were at the focus of his contacts. In his meetings, Beglitis also discussed the Palestinian issue on which, as he stresses in a statement of his, Greece supports the creation of an independent, democratic, viable Palestinian state, based on the borders of 1967.
Beglitis will conclude his three-day visit o Israel on Tuesday and he will be received by President Shimon Peres, meet Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and visit Jerusalem Patriarch Theofilos.