Greek Parliament President Voutsis visits the Knesset; signs declaration to combat anti-Semitism Print
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 13:21

The President of the Hellenic Parliament, Nikos Voutsis, visited the Knesset Wednesday as a guest of Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein. On Thursday, he will return to the Knesset to participate in a first-of-its-kind trilateral meeting with Speaker Edelstein and the president of Cyprus` House of Representatives, Demetris Syllouris. They will discuss various subjects which are connected to the future of the region.

After signing the Knesset guestbook and giving formal statements to the press, Voutsis held a work meeting at the Knesset Speaker`s office. MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin (Zionist Camp), who heads the Israel-Greece Parliamentary Friendship Group, also participated in the meeting.
During the meeting, the Greek parliament`s president signed a declaration which has already been signed by various parliamentary heads, making a commitment to battle anti-Semitism.

”This is a subject which we fight against firmly”, Voutsis noted. Voutsis met with members of the Knesset`s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and with Opposition Leader MK Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp).
Knesset Speaker Edelstein said, ”Israel and Greece are the successors of two magnificent cultures, and the two countries share mutual values of democracy. I was glad to hear that you [spoke extensively about] Holocaust memorial enterprises in Greece”.


”I am glad that our connections are expanding; we have already met a few times, the Foreign Affairs Committees of both parliaments will convene again and again, and also the friendship group is active”, said Edelstein.
The Hellenic Parliament`s President spoke extensively on topics concerning the Holocaust of the Jews in Greece and ways of commemorating them. He added that the Greek Parliament funds a number of memorial enterprises in Greece.
”There is excellent cooperation between us and we have already done a good job along the way. I am aware of how important it is to collaborate and I am especially pleased with this in times of regional uncertainty. The truth needs to be told: in the past our relations were not deep, and I am glad of the fundamental change”, said Voutsis. Later, during the plenary session, Edelstein greeted Voutsis and the members of his delegation, who were observing from the VIP gallery, and said that the visit, the first by a president of the Greek Parliament, ”is yet another expression of the special ties between our countries and of the tightening relations between the parliaments.”
”This is a real strategic partnership, on all levels and in all fields,” Edelstein stated. ”I am convinced that this partnership can bring about not only stability in the Middle East, but also prosperity.”

”We are partners in the fight against racism, hatred and anti-Semitism, and we consider this battle a part of our identity. It must also be displayed in our delegations to the parliamentary assemblies of international organizations we are members of, in order to eradicate the call for actions against Israel and to eradicate anti-Semitism in all its forms.”

Source: Knesset website