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Leaders of Greece, Cyprus Due in Israel This Month

The leaders of Greece and Cyprus are slated to make separate visits to Israel this month to discuss renewing the flow of tourists as well as the construction of a gas pipeline in the eastern Mediterranean. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will arrive on June 16, according to reports in the Israeli media, while Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades will arrive on June 23. The two nations, both heavily dependent on tourism, have included Israel among the countries invited to resume flights suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is one of 13 countries whose nationals will be welcomed back to Cyprus starting June 9. (The Republic of Cyprus, which controls the southern half of an island divided since 1974, is offering to refund the vacation costs of any tourist who becomes infected while visiting.) Greece will begin welcoming citizens from 29 counties, including Israelis, starting on June 15. The Jewish state has yet to set a policy of its own for foreign tourists. All three countries have been in discussions over the construction of a pipeline for natural gas, which has been discovered in major quantities beneath the eastern Mediterranean. The proposed pipeline would extend to Europe.