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Visiting Greek Foreign Minister Predicts Full Relations with Israel

The establishment of full diplomatic relations between Greece and Israel is expected in the next few months, as a result of the three-day visit here by Greek Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias, which ended Thursday.

That impression was reinforced by Papoulias at his meetings with Premier Yitzhak Shamir and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. He also told Palestinian leaders from the West Bank Thursday that ties would be improved between Greece and Israel, though not at the expense of traditional Greek support of the Palestinian cause, the leaders who met with him said.

Papoulias is the first senior member of the Greek Cabinet to come to Israel. He arrived Monday at the invitation of Peres. He reportedly told Shamir at their private meeting Tuesday that the time has come for Greece to extend de jure discussed by his government shortly.

At present, Israel enjoys only de facto recognition by Greece.