After pressing for an invitation to Annapolis, Greece has been invited to the upcoming peace conference.
Greece wanted to be a part of the summit both because Turkey, its regional rival, had been invited, and because Greece wants to demonstrate that it has a role to play in the Arab-Israeli peace process.
In 1982, it was Greek ships that evacuated Yasser Arafat and his henchmen from Lebanon and brought them to Greece following Israel’s invasion of Lebanon and attack on the PLO. Over the last decade, Greece has hosted several conferences on the conflict involving Arabs and Israelis.
Greece will be represented at Annapolis by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.
During Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ last visit to Greece, in April 2007, Bakoyannis called on the Palestinian leader to curb violence and release kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilat Shalit.
Sources in the Greek Foreign Ministry say Bakoyannis is contemplating hosting a peace summit in Greece following the Annapolis meeting.