Sunday, 16 June 2019
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Greek-Palestinian Relations

Greek-Palestinian Relations

Relations between Greece and the Palestine have always been and remain excellent, due mainly to the longstanding and firm positions of our country on the Palestinian Question: we firmly support the creation of an independent, viable, contiguous and democratic Palestinian state that coexists in peace with Israel, within internationally recognized borders based on the pre-1967 line, and has its capital in East Jerusalem. We are in favor of the finding of a comprehensive solution based on two states, because we believe that this is the only choice that can respond satisfactorily to Israel’s longstanding demand for security and the Palestinians’ longstanding demand for a state.

In this context, Greece has participated actively in and contributed in a variety of ways to building the structures of the future Palestinian state; building that is a priority for the international community and the EU in particular. Furthermore, as tangible proof of our longstanding policy on the Palestinian issue, our country voted in favor of the November 2011 resolution admitting Palestine to UNESCO, and, a year later, in November 2012, the upgrading of Palestine’s status to that of non-member observer state at the UN General Assembly. To help confront the humanitarian aspect of the crisis in Gaza, Greece sent €500,000 in humanitarian assistance, through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East,  to cover food needs and repairs to the water supply network. At the Cairo International Donors Conference, Greece announced assistance in the amount of €1 million for the reconstruction of Gaza.

A Palestinian Diplomatic Delegation operates in Athens, and, since 2010, the Palestinian Ambassador presents his credentials to the President of the Republic, rather than to the Foreign Minister, in a symbolic indication of the excellent level of our bilateral relations with Palestine. The Consulate General in Jerusalem is competent for Greece’s relations with Palestine.

The spiritual jurisdiction of the Jerusalem Patriarchate includes the Palestinian Territories, where a significant number of Orthodox Christians (the largest Christian community of Palestine) reside. The Palestinian Greek Orthodox, as well as a large number of graduates who attended Greek universities on scholarships, are a strong bridge of friendship between the Greek and Palestinian peoples.