Israel and Cyprus to increase cooperation

Netanyahu meets Cypriot President and the two agree to increase cooperation in the fight against terror and natural gas infrastructures.

Nitsan Keidar ,

Netanyahu meets the President of Cyprus
Netanyahu meets the President of Cyprus
Kobi Gideon/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades met on Sunday and agreed to increase cooperation between the two countries.

A statement from the Prime Minister's Office said the two leaders “held wide ranging discussions that reflected the close and very important relations both countries enjoy.”

“In the course of the discussions, both leaders emphasized their shared interests in regional stability and expressed their agreement to continue countering sources of extremism and terrorism.”

“The two sides continued their talks about emergency response cooperation. Both leaders encouraged their teams to conclude these talks as soon as possible,” said the statement.

“The two sides discussed the unitization issue regarding the Aphrodite and Yishai gas fields, and concluded that by September 2016 the two Energy Ministers will seek to finalize these discussions.”

“In the context of the exploration and development of energy resource in the eastern Mediterranean, both leaders concluded that there is no question that resolving the outstanding issues between Cyprus and Turkey would greatly facilitate the pace of the development of future projects, which will proceed according to international law, as well as greatly enhance stability in the region. Therefore, Israel has a strong interest in the resolution of this issue,” said the PMO's statement.

Both leaders “stressed the importance of the trilateral framework between Israel, Cyprus, and Greece and reconvening together by the end of the year, as was agreed between the parties at the Nicosia Summit, on January 28, 2016.”

Israel and Cyprus have traditionally had friendly relations over the years. Cyprus was the first country to officially declare it would not cooperate with efforts by various anti-Israel movements and countries to send flotillas to violate Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza.