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Israel-Turkey Strategic Ties Show Signs of Thawing

Jean-Loup Samaan writes that the Israel-Turkey split is not really grounded in substance but rather in the personal ties of their leaders, and that a thaw may be in the works.
Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak (L) and his Greek counterpart Dimitris Avramopoulos watch a military parade at the Defence Ministry in Athens January 10, 2012. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis (GREECE - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY) - RTR2W3DY

Earlier this month, the navies of Israel, Greece and the United States gathered to conduct a two-week joint military exercise. This operation, named “Noble Dina,” was launched in 2011 and has since then been conducted each year. It can be seen as one of the various indicators that Israel and Greece are in the process of strengthening their bilateral ties. Indeed, for the last three years, both countries have moved closer to each other.

It all started through various high-level visits at the level of presidents, prime ministers and defense ministers. In 2010, former Greek Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou visited Jerusalem and signed a cooperation memorandum. The following year, Israel defense Minister Ehud Barak and his Greek counterpart, Panos Beglitis, went further by passing a security cooperation agreement. Meanwhile, the Greek parliament approved the purchase of Israeli bomb-precision upgrade kits, which cost $155 million for 400 systems.

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