The Greek government supports the creation of a Palestinian state based on the borders of 1967 and with East Jerusalem as its capital, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Thursday, in statements after meeting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
He also repeated his invitation to Abbas to visit to Athens, which will take place on Dec. 21. Tsipras noted that Greece’s position on the Palestinian issue was one of “principle” and independent of the country’s efforts to develop bilateral ties with Israel.
Later in the day, Tsipras was received by Jerusalem Patriarch Theophilos III. The Greek premier hailed the contribution of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in interfaith dialogue at an especially critical time for the region.
In welcoming the prime minister, the Patriarch noted that his visit is especially important as it is taking place at a time when Christians in Middle East are facing difficulties and are looking to Greece for protection, despite the country’s hardships.
The Patriarch referred to the historical role of the Patriarchate and the efforts made for centuries to preserve Orthodoxy, while he also noted its role in the harmonious coexistence of different religions in the historic city.