Picture - To Vima
Greece expressed condolences to Israel and Bulgaria after yesterday's terrorist attack at Bourgas airport Sarafovo, in which five Israeli citizens were killed, the Bulgarian bus driver and the bomber. At a briefing, Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras said that his country is shocked by the inhuman act and hopes that those, who are responsible for it, will soon be found and punished. He emphasized his country's sympathy to the families of the victims and wished a fast recovery to those injured in the explosion.
"Greece is the safest tourist destination and we have taken all necessary measures to guarantee the lives of tourists," said Delavekouras in response to a question by GRReporter. Greece traditionally welcomes a large number of tourists from Israel, because of the proximity of the two countries, but in recent years, their number has increased significantly. They also arrive by charter flights to the famous Greek islands of Crete, Rhodes, Kos.
On Wednesday, July 25 Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos will accept Israel's ambassador in Athens Arye Mekel. The spokesman of the diplomatic office, however, clarified that this meeting had been scheduled long before yesterday's attack in Bourgas. Most probably, the meeting is related to the expected, perhaps around 5 August, visit of Israeli President Shimon Peres in Athens. Grigoris Delavekouras declined to provide any information about it, and referred reporters to the press service of the presidency.
Meanwhile, the Greek Foreign Ministry is watching with attention and concern the situation in Syria, defined by the speaker as a "civil war with tragic consequences for civilians". Yesterday the Office officially recommended that Greek citizens avoid travelling to Syria. "The atmosphere is heavy, there are already clashes in the capital Damascus. A political, not military solution to the conflict has to be found and it must fully respect the national sovereignty of the country", said Grigoris Delavekouras.
He couldn't tell exactly how many Greeks live in Syria but ensured that the Greek embassy in Damascus keeps constant contact with them and is ready to evacuate them immediately, when they want. "For now, however, such a request has not been made by any of them", said the diplomat. Greece is ready to provide humanitarian aid and shelter to victims, if needed, but so far no requests have been made.