Greek Leader Says He Will Help Israel Join U.N. European Group

Greek Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis says he will help Israel join the European group within the United Nations and also assist it in revising its 1975 economic agreement with the European Community.

Mitsotakis made these commitments to Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Yossi Beilin, who arrived in Greece on Thursday for a two-day official visit.

Beilin is heading the joint Greek-Israel committee that is convening in Athens for the first time.

Mitsotakis said Greece could fulfill its promise of assistance regarding Israel-E.C. relations when Greece assumes the rotating E.C. presidency for six months beginning next January.

Beilin also briefed his host on the Middle East peace process on the eve of U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher’s arrival in the region.

The Greek prime minister expressed his appreciation to Israel for not sending any kind of diplomatic representation to the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia — called by Greeks the Republic of Skopje — before the issue of the republic’s official name is settled.

The republic’s name is a hot potato in Greece, whose northern part also bears the name of Macedonia. In ancient times, the region was one, and the Greeks fear the newly independent republic will try to appropriate the Greek region of Macedonia as well.

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