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The remarkable trajectory of Greece-Israel ties

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Recent developments underscore the remarkable trajectory of ties between Greece and Israel.

First, there was the quadrilateral summit in Paphos, also involving Cyprus and United Arab Emirates. Historic would not be an overstatement in describing this gathering, as it reflects the strategic results of last year’s Abraham Accords and connects the Eastern Mediterranean with the Arabian Gulf. Moreover, it would not be surprising to see other regional actors seeking to join this group in the future.

Second, the two countries just announced a large defense deal, indeed the biggest ever between Athens and Jerusalem. Needless to say, it didn’t come out of nowhere, but rather was the result of ever growing strategic and military cooperation — and the trust it bespeaks.

What may seem obvious today about overlapping interests and values between Greece and Israel was anything but obvious forty years ago, when I first became interested in the relationship.

At the time, I was shocked to learn that bilateral ties were quite frigid, to the point where Greece and Spain were the only two West European countries that had not established full de jure relations with Israel. And when Spain finally did so in 1986, Greece became the lone holdout.

It made no sense to me. Sure, I heard that Greece was closely tied to the Arab........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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