This could be a much more lucrative deal for Greeks than leasing an uninhabited island to some investors who wants to build a touristic paradise in the Aegean or the Ionian Sea. Then, there can be many island paradises, but training area for Israel Defense Forces is surely very rare.
Israel saw the benefits of training around a Greek island last July: clear waters, fresh air, no enemies around. And a dancing tour in Piraeus and Athens, far away from hostile mortars making incredible and annoying sounds…
Defense officials: Barak mulled buying Greek isle for Israeli navy training
Two weeks ago Defense Minister Ehud Barak asked the Israel Defense Forces to consider leasing or buying a Greek island to use as a training area for the navy. But the IDF decided not to pursue the project, citing doubts about its economic viability, defense officials say.
According to Barak’s office, “Defense Minister Barak sent the subject for review, and the assessment concluded that there was no need [to lease or purchase a Greek island]. So the matter is void.”
Neither the General Staff’s planning division nor the navy have been enthusiastic about the idea, preferring instead to tighten security cooperation with Greece.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office declined to comment on internal army discussions.
Barak’s aides said yesterday the defense minister asked that the Greek-island option be reviewed in response to a request by a minister who visited Greece and returned to Israel with a message for Barak.
The aides said Greek officials had expressed a willingness to lease an island to Israel’s navy for use as a training base.
A source in Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the IDF was represented in this initiative by relatively low-ranking officers, largely in the General Staff’s strategy and planning divisions.
Even though the subject has diplomatic implications, no Foreign Ministry official took part in the deliberations, the source said. (HAARETZ)
I support the island- leasing idea for training purposes of a foreign country army. Against a huge bag full of money. Are Turks better when they “train” in our FIR and thus free of charge? “Free of charge” for them. Because the Turkish training cost a lot of money to Greece as it has to send air fighters to intercept the Turkish aircraft.
National security? Ah, pah! The President of Greek Asset Development Fund said the islands selected to be leased are a threat to national security.
PS We have yet to read and hear a lot of weird things on the islands-leasing issue…