Thursday, June 30th | 1 Tammuz 5782

June 8, 2022 1:48 pm

In Second Visit to Israel, Greek Military Chief Touts Strong Bonds

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

General Konstantinos Floros, chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, with IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi in Israel on June 8, 2022. Photo: IDF

Israel welcomed the chief of Greece’s armed forces with an honor guard on Wednesday, amid increasingly close ties between the Mediterranean nations.

Gen. Konstantinos Floros, head of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, was greeted by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, ahead of discussions regarding the situation in Ukraine and security developments in the eastern Mediterranean. Floros also visited to the IDF’s Intelligence Corps’ Unit 9900, which is responsible for aerial and satellite imagery.

The unit showcased some of its contributions to dealing with Iranian entrenchment in Syria, and briefed Floros “on developments in the field of satellites and space, and the unit’s perception of geographical intelligence,” the IDF said in a statement.

The Greek military chief — who also visited Israel in the summer of 2020, months after assuming his post — called the presentation “an important step for deepening strategic cooperation.” He described Israel and Greece as “close partners” and “trusted friends.”

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While strained in much of the 20th century, ties between Jerusalem and Athens have warmed considerably in recent years amid a cooling in Israel’s relationship with Turkey in 2010 and increased cooperation on energy and regional defense. Since 2011, Israel, Greece, and the United States have held joint military exercises called “Noble Dina,” which most recently took place in March with the addition of the French and Cypriot militaries.

Last year, Israel, Greece, and Cyprus agreed to build the EuroAsia Interconnector, the longest underwater power cable, to link their electricity grids with that of Europe and bolster energy security. An earlier trilateral project, a natural gas pipeline from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe, stalled after losing US support this year amid geopolitical and climate concerns.

In April, the foreign ministers of the three nations said they would continue working together on energy projects, with a focus on European energy dependency due to the conflict in Ukraine.

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