According to media reports, Israel and Greece have signed the largest joint military equipment purchase agreement in history. report that Israel Newspaper and news agency Reuters. Foreign ministers and a large-scale multilateral air force exercise met at the same time.
The above agreement includes a contract by the Israeli company Elbit Systems to establish and operate a training center for the Greek Air Force. The listed Elbit Group is known as a manufacturer of drones and high-tech equipment for cockpit and helmet pilots’ helmets. According to Israel’s Ministry of Defense, the contract will run for a period of 22 years and will have a volume of approximately 1.4 billion euros.
The training center will be based on the model of the Israeli Aviation Academy and will be equipped with 10 M-346 training aircraft manufactured by the Italian company Leonardo. The Elbett will also be a Greek T6 propeller aircraft, in which pilots learn to fly aspirants, upgrade technology and provide training, simulators and logistic support.
He said that the program would not only improve the skills of Greek flight instructors, but would “strengthen the economy of Israel and Greece” and thereby “deepen the partnership between our two countries at the defense, economic and political level” of defense. Secretary Benny Gantz.
“General commitment to basic principles and values”
This announcement was followed by a meeting of the foreign ministers of Greece, Israel, Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates in the city of Cyprus, Paphos. happen. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendiás said after the meeting of foreign ministers that there is “a common commitment to basic principles and values” connecting the four countries.
These principles included “promoting good neighborly relations and the peaceful settlement of disputes based on principles of international law, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.” He added that Greece is “without exception keen to build good neighborly relations with all countries in the region.”
The phrase “without exception” should be understood in such a way that Athens also strives for a good relationship with Turkey, whose government has traditionally been hostile with Greece and has repeatedly sought to win the war and all of Cyprus. It threatens.
A reference to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea means that the four countries insist on compliance with international law in the dispute over natural gas reserves off the coast of Cyprus. According to Article 55 Convention on the law of the sea The United Nations (UNCLOS / UNCLOS), the neighboring state concerned in this area, has the exclusive right of economic exploitation, this applies specifically to fishing and, in the present case, to any mineral resources stored there.
Turkey, however, disregards international law and claims almost the entire sea area around the island of Cyprus, either for itself or for the internationally unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRN). The largest gas deposits are found in the areas covered by the Convention on the Law of the Sea Special economic zone (EEZ, “200-Mile Area”) are Egypt, Israel and the Republic of Cyprus. The three countries have signed treaties with each other across the border, which Turkey does not recognize.
During their meeting in Cyprus, the four foreign ministers discussed increasing cooperation in several areas, starting with the energy sector. “In this context, we emphasized the importance of the Eastmead gas pipeline and renewable energy sources,” Dandias said.
It was also discussed how topics such as digital innovation, tourism, climate, defense and coronovirus epidemics and post-pandemic preparedness could be exchanged. Dandias emphasized: “Our collaboration programs are open to all. Provided they share our respect for the values and principles that I have just exposed. “
They used to be enemies…
Greek-Israeli friendship and cooperation is notable because Greek governments have long been hostile to the Jewish state.
It was not until May 21, 1990 that Greece recognized the state of Israel. When the United Nations General Assembly voted on a plan of partition for the mandate of Palestine in 1947 to make possible a Jewish and Arab state along with Cuba, Greece was the only majority Christian country that voted against the plan .
Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou Comparison Israel’s war against the PLO in Lebanon in June 1982, with the German Nazi occupiers exterminating Greek Jews in Greece. When PLO leader Yasser Arafat had to flee Lebanon a few months later, the Greek government brought him to Greece before his trip to Tunis.
At the time, Papandreau was confident that Arafat would defeat Israel. “I am going deeply into my country, Yasser Arafat, to welcome this great fighter for the freedom of his people,” said Papandreau.
“At the same time, we feel very honored that Yasser Arafat and his close associates have chosen our country as their first stop. We want to assure them that they will always find us and the Greeks as active supporters in their holy struggle. We are sure that with such faith, enthusiasm and determination as the performance of the Palestinian people, victory will be theirs and soon. “
This is history. The present is different: Last Sunday, Greece and Israel began a six-day air force maneuver over the Mediterranean, together with representatives from the armed forces of France, the United States, Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, and Canada.
Were practicing Messages According to dogfights as well as battles between planes and ships. This maneuver is “an important milestone in strengthening common interests” and “strategic international cooperation between Israel and various countries”, Shared Israeli army with.
Cooperation between Greece and Israel, however, extends far beyond the military; Tourism with visitors from another country was also in spate before the epidemic, which was soon noticed by both countries. Reconnect Want to.
… and today they are friends
Imagine that Lebanon From the 1960s to today there will be better politicians who have taken even better decisions; Who would not have decided to give up peace and prosperity and bring terrorism to the country. Unfortunately, he chose the path due to war, civil war and poverty.
For Israel, Greece is now what Lebanon could have become: a Western, democratic and progressive country in the eastern Mediterranean that wants to live in peace and good neighborly relations, just like Israel.