Presidents of Israel and Cyprus, Reuven Rivlin and Nicos Anastasiades have reaffirmed the closer ties of the two countries as well as the increasing cooperation between them in energy and regional security.
President Anastasiades is in Israel to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“We are looking forward to furthering our cooperation in the field of energy to the benefit of the welfare of our people,” Rivlin said.
The Israeli head of state also referred to the close cooperation between the two states not only in the field of tourism (Israel is the island’s third-largest tourist market) but also in water management, agriculture, industry security and cybersecurity.
“We are very happy about the relationship we have and we can extend it. We are very close, and we can do much better. It is a great honour that you are with us,” he added.
Anastasiades said the two countries “have managed to build such strong ties, bearing in mind the strong bonds we have from the past,” adding that “2000 babies were born in Cyprus during WWII when the Jews came to Cyprus.”
He added: “We share excellent relations and we are building up such a strong alliance facing all the challenges in the region, based always on international law, on the principles of democracy, of peace and security in the area.”
Anastasiades also referred to regional trilateral and multilateral cooperation especially on energy, which does not involve Turkey.
“We are not excluding anyone, but what we are asking from those who would like to be in this block of friends for peace, security, and stability in the area, is for them to respect international law.”
In a dig at Turkey Anastasiades said: “Some of our neighbours, unfortunately, without respect for international law have been trying to play a bigger role than they are entitled to. But I am sure that, at the very end, the law will prevail, logic will prevail…”