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Greek FM Thanks Israel during Jerusalem Visit

Greek Foreign Minister Nikolaos Kotzias thanked Israel for its concern over his country’s economic crisis during a visit to Jerusalem.

“I thank Israel for following what is happening in Greece, and for caring for us. Greece is a small country with a long history and more than a few problems, but I am sure that we will overcome this crisis,” Kotzias said Monday before meetings with Israeli officials.

Kotzias arrived in Israel hours after his country voted 61 percent to 39 percent to reject further austerity measures in order to in exchange for an economic bailout from international creditors. His visit reportedly was set several weeks ago.

The visit will have an “economic emphasis,” the Times of Israel reported, citing Emmanuel Nahshon, Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman.

Kotzias is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also is the country’s foreign minister, President Reuven Rivlin, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, Interior Minister Silvan Shalom, and deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely. He also is scheduled to meet with opposition leader Isaac Herzog during his three-day visit to Israel.

On Wednesday, he will meet with the leadership of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

Kotzias announced last month during a meeting with PA Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad al-Maliki that he had instructed his ministry to refer to the area under the PA as “Palestine.”

Israel’s National Economic Council Chairman Prof. Eugene Kandel, on Sunday briefed government ministers on the economic crisis in Greece and on its implications and lessons for Israel. Kandel also reportedly will meet with Kotzias during his visit.

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