Greek Prime Minsiter George Papandreou held talks here on Wednesday afternoon with Israeli President Shimon Peres who expressed his support to the Greek government’s handlings regarding the state of the economy.
“I wish Greece’s exit from this crisis and never return to the point where you found yourselves,” Peres told Papandreou.
“I wish you the end of the crisis to be a new start, Greece and Israel are now more than ever close to each other, historically, politically and in many other sectors, while we are every day assessing the improvement and development of our relations,” the Israeli president also pointed out.
Responding to Peres, Papandreou thanked him for his wishes, adding that the crisis “is a challenge for us to overcome it and win.”
“We managed to take a series of difficult and painful measures thanks to the support by the people. Having taken all necessary measures for containing and cotrolling the public debt and having overcome the difficult part, we can now hope for the better,” the Greek premier said.
“I am happy to be here…I am here in my double capacity, as President of the Socialist International and as Prime Minister of Greece. But the main thing is that for the first time a Greek Prime Minister visits Israel, since its recognition. It is important that we develop the bilateral cooperation, the regional cooperation in the broader region of Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East and there are many issues on which we can cooperate in order to promote peace,” Papandreou also said.
Immediately after his talks with Peres, the prime minister visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and met with the Jerusalem Patriarch Theophilos III, who decorated Papandreou with Cross of the Holy Sepulchre.
“We offer this Cross and we wish success in your task,” Patriarch Theophilos said.