(Communicated by the Office of the President of Israel)
President Shimon Peres will, tomorrow (Monday, 6 August 2012), leave on an official visit to Greece at the invitation of Greek President Karolos Papoulias, who invited President Peres in order to deepen bilateral ties and expand cooperation on a range of issues, especially diplomatic, security and economic.
President Peres will hold a series of diplomatic meetings with senior Greek leaders including President Papoulias, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Parliament Speaker Evangelos Vasileios Meimarakis and leaders of the parties in the new Greek government. President Peres is expected to discuss with his hosts the dramatic changes that have recently occurred in the Middle East, the Iranian threat including the Tehran regime's attempts to strengthen terrorist organizations and produce weapons of mass destruction. It should be noted that relations between Israel and Greece have strengthened over the past two years. President Peres will be accompanied by Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Orit Noked, who will meet with her Greek counterpart, who has asked to expand bilateral agricultural and economic cooperation.
President Peres will be welcomed with full ceremony at the Presidential Palace. Afterwards, the two Presidents will hold a working diplomatic meeting, at the end of which they will deliver joint statements.
President Peres and President Papoulias outside the Presidential Mansion in Athens
(Photo: Israel Embassy, Athens)
President Peres will also attend a state dinner hosted by President Papoulias, which will also be attended by senior Greek business leaders. Greek Prime Minister Samaras will hold a diplomatic meeting with the President in the framework of a luncheon with senior ministers. The President will also be the guest of the Greek Parliament.
President Peres will also host a festive meeting with Greek Jewish community
leaders and grant interviews with the local media. Greek Culture Minister Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos will host the President at the Acropolis Museum
in order to acquaint him with one of Greece and the world's premiere tourist centers and will utilize the occasion to call on Israelis to visit Greece.
For President Peres, the visit closes a personal cycle. The President's late father, Yitzhak Persky, then a volunteer in the British Army, hid from the Nazis in a Greek monastery
, before being captured and sent to Auschwitz. The President will thank the Greek people for saving his father.