Greece’s Attitude Has Become More Friendly Toward Israel

Greece’s attitude toward Israel has become more friendly and open since that country succeeded West Germany in the rotating chairmanship of the European Economic Community’s (EEC) Council of Ministers, diplomatic circles here have noted.

Among the EEC member states, Greece was the most outspoken critic of Israel, especially after the invasion of Lebanon on June, 1982. The Israelis were therefore pleasantly surprised when, under the chairmanship of Athens, no new EEC initiatives were launched against Israel and the “financial protocol” providing EEC credits to Jerusalem was implemented.

A Greek diplomat posted to Bonn told an Israeli representative that his government, however sympathetic to the Arab cause, has reassessed some of its positions on Middle East issues.

The diplomat explained, according to sources here, that the Arab world, and the oil producing countries in particular, have done nothing to reward Greece politically or economically for its long-standing support. “They took our attitude for granted and the least I can say is that many Greeks are unhappy about it,” the diplomat was reported to have said.

The Greeks are upset by the Arab countries siding with Turkey in its long-standing conflict with Greece. This is recognized as Arab solidarity with a Moslem, though non-Arab, nation but is a source of irritation, nonetheless.

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