Cyprus expects no change in Israel ties

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Any change of government in Israel will not affect the good relations with Nicosia because both countries have common objectives, said Cyprus Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides.

Asked if a new Prime Minister in Israel will affect Cyprus-Israeli ties that have been built on a joint energy drive, Christodoulides said deliberations are still underway with the process to conclude on June 14.

“We must wait until then. Whatever the choices in any country, they are absolutely respected,” Christodoulides said.

“I am certain any change of government in Israel or Cyprus will not affect relations because they are based on common objectives, common goals, on addressing common challenges, and we cooperate to utilise opportunities in the region.

“This is our goal not only with Israel but with all states in the region, when there is a change of government either in these countries or in Cyprus, to continue this cooperation,” Christodoulides added.

Israeli opposition parties on Thursday reached an agreement to form a new government that would end Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year tenure as prime minister.

During that time, ties with Cyprus have blossomed to forge regional alliances and greater US interest in the eastern Mediterranean.

Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, announced an eight-faction coalition had been formed.

Under a rotation arrangement, the head of the right-wing Yamina party, Naftali Bennett, would serve as prime minister first before handing over to Mr Lapid.

Netanyahu, however, attacked the new “left-wing” government as “dangerous”.

In his first comments since the agreement was reached, Netanyahu urged Knesset (parliament) members “elected by votes from the right” to oppose the coalition, which still needs to be approved by a parliamentary vote before being sworn in.

The vote is not expected to take place for some days, and there is still a chance defections could upend this newly formed coalition.