Bilateral Relations

Greek Foreign Minister visits Israel, agrees to resume Israeli tourism

Xinhuanet – Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi met in Jerusalem on Thursday and agreed on arrangements for renewing Israeli tourism to Greece.

Under the agreement, some 600 Israeli tourists could enter Greece every week and visit Athens, Corfu, Thessaloniki and Crete. The visitors will have to undergo two coronavirus tests, one before departing from Israel and the other upon their arrival in Greece. They will briefly stay in quarantine until the results of the second test arrive.

“I welcome Greece’s decision to allow tourism from Israel to Greece in the coronavirus era,” Ashkenazi said in a statement released on his behalf. “I hope that other European countries will also adopt this decision,” he added.

The Israeli foreign ministry said the meeting between the two ministers focused on “the importance of bilateral, trilateral (with Cyprus) and regional relations.”

“The two ministers discussed regional developments, the challenges of stability and prosperity in the Mediterranean region,” the statement read.

Dendias arrived in Israel on Thursday morning amidst escalating tensions between Greece and Turkey. He is expected to meet also Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin before flying back to Greece.

Israel is considered a “red country” due to its high COVID-19 morbidity rates and Israeli tourists have been barred from many European countries.

Some 1,558 new coronavirus cases were diagnosed in Israel on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases to 88,151, according to figures by the health ministry.

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