Daily Israel Report

Turkey Out, Greece In: Security Deal Signed with Athens

As Turkey rattles its saber at Israel, the Jewish state signs a security deal with its neighbor, Greece.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 9/4/2011, 10:09 PM

Barak with Beglitis
Barak with Beglitis
IDF Website

Defense Minister Ehud Barak signed a security cooperation agreement with the Greek Defense Minister, Panagiotis Beglitis Sunday at a meeting at the Kirya Base in Tel Aviv. The timing of the deal may or may not be connected to the recent souring of relations with Greece's neighbor, Turkey.

"We welcome the Greek Defense Minister and thanked the Greek government for their rapid assistance during the Carmel fire. We're pleased with the strengthened relationship between Greece and Israel in all aspects, including defense," said Barak at the end of their meeting, according to the IDF Website.

Barak added that the Israeli and Greek nations are "ancient nations that provided the world with culture. Looking ahead, the nations expect to see a deepening of the cooperation between the two governments, defense ministries and peoples."

According to Barak, the security cooperation agreement represents future cooperation with the Greek government. "Both Greece and Israel are undergoing a difficult period in the world and I believe we view each other positively."

In recent years, the IAF has been training with many foreign armies however recently the cooperation between the Greek Army and the IDF grew significantly.

Last June IAF participated in a joint training exercise with the Greek Air Force at the Larissa area using UH-60 Black Hawk and Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters.