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Israeli PM To Greece Amid Strained Turkish Ties

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was expected to discuss strengthening trade and defense ties during his visit to Greece.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was expected to arrive in Athens to open a visit aimed at upgrading Israel's relations with Greece.

Netanyahu's visit comes as Israel is reportedly looking for other Mediterranean partners following a deterioration in Israel's formerly strong ties with Greece's long-time rival Turkey.

Israeli-Turkish ties have declined over issues including Israel's attack on the Palestinian Gaza Strip in late 2008 and, most recently, a deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed nine Turkish citizens in May.

Israeli and Greek officials say the two sides intend to explore the possibilities of improving trade and defense ties.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou visited Israel in July.

compiled from agency reports