The President of the Republic Mr Nicos Anastasiades met this morning, in Jerusalem, with the President of Israel Mr Reuven Rivlin.
Following their tete-a-tete meeting, in his remarks to the Media, President Rivlin said, among other things, that «Mr. President, welcome back to Jerusalem. You have been a dear friend to me, and to the State of Israel. The warm relations between our countries are based on our shared history, values and interests.
Two years ago, we marked together Cyprus’ role as a home for many Holocaust survivors and illegal immigrants to Israel following the war. Just one year ago, we stood here, together with around 50 world leaders, and renewed our shared commitment to fighting anti-Semitism, remembering the Holocaust, and countering attempts to change history. A fight, which unfortunately, remains urgent.
Our shared values, including democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, bind us together, in a region where these values are not always respected. And our shared interests continue to grow in many fields, from diplomacy and security, to trade, tourism, energy, emergency response, innovation and the environment.
We recently both participated, in the opening of the Pafos Innovation Institute. A center for joint projects, between our two countries, and between all the peoples of the region.
As the coronavirus has shown us, today’s challenges know no borders and we must work together in order to meet them. In this context, let me say how pleased I am with the recent understandings that will allow the renewal of flights and tourism between Israel and Cyprus. Israelis love Cyprus so much, and call more countries to adopt the Green Passes. In addition to our warm bilateral relations, our strategic trilateral cooperation with Greece, especially in the energy sector, is a key component of regional stability and economic development. In light of this close cooperation, we must continue to work together and not let anyone undermine our regional stability.»
He added that «this is most likely our last meeting in my role as President. I want to personally thank you for your deep friendship, and your commitment to the relations between our countries. Thank you very much. God bless you.»
On his part President Anastasiades said, among other things, that « It is a great pleasure to be back to Israel,» adding that at a time of pandemic their exchange is most important.
He expressed deep appreciation for the assistance Israel has provided to Cyprus in the course of the pandemic and noted that «Israel has always been by our side in times of need.
With regard to our bilateral relations I am proud to say that over the past few years we have reached a very prolific partnership. We are particularly advanced in the areas of Energy, Defence, Tourism, Health and Education but the wider issues on which we are currently working together showcases the great significance we both place on our cooperation as well as its potential.
I am very pleased on the level of people to people contacts. We hope that soon the epidemiologic condition in both our countries will allow us to resume the flow of visitors between Cyprus and Israel since I firmly believe that this solidifies our friendly ties which extend to all diaspora.
We have an action plan which aims at the deepening of our communities cooperation in several of the world’s capitals», the President said noting the emphasis is given on the active participation of the youth of diaspora.
The remarks were followed by an expanded meeting between the delegations of the two sides.