Israel President Rivlin: “The deep and longstanding security cooperation between our countries is a giving us extra strength by any measure. In addition, the cooperation between our countries is critical, especially in view of developments in our region”
President Reuven Rivlin today, (Wednesday), visited the Salamis Naval Base, accompanied by Israeli Naval Commander Vice Admiral Eli Sharvit, and Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, and Chief of Staff Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis. The President was welcomed by an honor guard and a 21 gun salute. The Greek Chief of Staff thanked the President for his visit which he noted was of great importance, as it marked the first such visit by a head of state. During the visit the President heard of the cooperation between the naval forces of both countries, and toured the Gulf of Salamis where the historic battle took place in 480 BC between the Greeks and Persians.
“It is a great honor for me to be here at the Greek naval base, on a unique maritime site. The events that took place have changed the face of world history”, the President said, and thanked his hosts for their warm welcome.
“Israel is a desert country lying on a long coast,” added the President, “For many years we have seen ourselves as a land nation, but in recent decades we have turned more to the sea. The sea holds abundant opportunities. We see the ability to take advantage of the sea’s wealth, of its energy, of its expanses, and find a better way to deal with our strategic challenges. When Israel turns to the sea, we turn first to Greece and to Cypus. The Greek Navy is an example of professionalism and excellence at the highest levels, and we seek to deepen the cooperation between the fleets and the countries.”
He added, “The deep and longstanding cooperation between our countries, certainly in the security context - and the Israeli naval commander here has witneesed this more than once - is an example of these opportunities,” and stressed, “This is a giving us extra strength by any measure. In addition, the cooperation between our countries is critical, especially in view of developments in our region.The situation in Syria and its ramifications impact the entire region, both Israel and Europe. Our ability together, to continue to establish more and more collaborations, such as cooperation by land, sea, and air, and the example of the project to establish a joint regional force to deal with fires and marine recovery is the key to regional stability. This cooperation is of benefit to all sides, and will directly contribute to the national security of Israel and Greece. I thank you all for the hospitality and opportunity to learn, and I hope that our cooperation will comtinue to grow.”
Israeli Naval Commander, Vice Admiral Eli Sharvit, stressed the opportunity to thank the Greek Chief of Staff and the Greek Defense Minister for the strength of the connection between the militaries. “This strength is also seen in our close cooperation in the complex and advanced exercises we conduct together, but even more in the in-depth operational cooperation.”
Earlier this morning, the President toured the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Acropolis in Athens. The site, which became the symbol of the city, was built mainly at the height of ancient Greece. The place became a symbol of Greece's independence after the end of the Second World War, the flag of Nazi Germany was removed from it and replaced by the flag of Greece.
(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)