Deputy FM Massalha meets Greek Deputy FM Papazoi

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
May 16, 2000

Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nawaf Massalha, met this morning (16 May) with Greek Deputy Foreign Minister, Elissabet Papazoi. The two discussed political and economic matters as well as ways to increase the cooperation between the two countries.

Massalha briefed the Greek Deputy Minister on the political situation in the region, the problems involved in achieving peace with Syria and the permanent status agreements with the Palestinians. The guest praised the imminent Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon and last night’s decision by the Israeli Cabinet to transfer three Arab villages east of Jerusalem to Palestinian control.

The two decided to promote another round of meetings between Israeli and Palestinian parliamentarians, a Greek initiative that began four years ago in Athens with the intention of contributing to the peace effort.

The Greek Deputy Minister presented to Deputy Minister Massalha another idea, this time in the field of education – an exchange program between Israeli, Jordanian, Palestinian and Greek students and professors. The Israeli Deputy Minister welcomed the initiative and said that Israel will cooperate in any way necessary for the success of the project.

In response to the concerns expressed by the guest for the future of the Greek Orthodox Church following a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, Massalha stated that Israel has always respected and will continue to respect their holy places.