Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein hosted Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos at the Israeli parliament on Wednesday. The president was greeted by an honor guard, and was then accompanied to Chagall Hall by Edelstein, MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin, who heads the Israel-Greece Parliamentary Friendship Group, and Knesset Secretary Yardena Meller-Horowitz. In Chagall Hall, Pavlopoulos signed the Knesset guestbook.

During a meeting held in his office, Speaker Edelstein told his guest, ”You are known as someone who has always worked to improve the relations with the State of Israel, even when it was not popular. Your visit is taking place at a time when relations between Israel and Greece are improving significantly. [These relations] are very important to us, in many ways, also strategically. When cooperation exists between the leaders and parliaments, there is also cooperation between the nations.”

Greek President Pavlopoulos to Speaker Edelstein: ”Anti-Semitism is almost non-existent in our country”

(Photo: Itzik Harari)

Edelstein also mentioned the strengthening of the economic ties between the countries, citing, among other things, the number of Israelis who visited Greece in the past year – some 350,000, compared with some 250,000 in the previous year. The Knesset speaker praised Greece`s handling the refugee crisis, and said ”the consideration and sensitivity you are displaying are admirable.” He also lauded Greece`s efforts to combat anti-Semitism in the country. ”You operated forcefully and swiftly against the Golden Dawn Party,” Edelstein told Pavlopoulos. Edelstein mentioned that he is scheduled to visit the Greek Parliament in some three months.

The Greek president said anti-Semitism is almost non-existent in his country, adding that ”even the few parliament members who dared to say something against Jews occasionally are already concealing their opinions.”

Greek President Pavlopoulos to Speaker Edelstein: ”Anti-Semitism is almost non-existent in our country”

(Photo: Itzik Harari)

Addressing the refugee crisis, Pavlopoulos said: ”We cannot watch children drown in the Aegean Sea.”

MK Nahmias-Verbin surprised President Pavlopoulos when she greeted him warmly in Greek. She said the meetings and the cooperation with Greek officials are very natural.

Greek President Pavlopoulos to Speaker Edelstein: ”Anti-Semitism is almost non-existent in our country”

(Photo: Itzik Harari)