Israel’s president says cooperation between his country and Cyprus on intelligence, security and terror prevention has made the Mediterranean “much, much safer.”
President Reuven Rivlin said after talks Tuesday with his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades that Israeli-Cypriot security ties “have never been better” with the two countries’ navies and commando units sharing “space, knowledge and experience.”
Rivlin said the focus of the neighbors’ strategic partnership that includes Greece is developing the East Med gas pipeline that “could be one of the greatest underwater projects in the world.”
The envisioned pipeline would carry natural gas from deposits in the east Mediterranean to Europe via Greece and Italy.
Rivlin said energy cooperation in the eastern Mediterranean could also benefit Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians.
Referring to the economic ties between the two countries Rivlin said that they “are strong and they are growing stronger with over $650 million in commerce per year and almost a quarter of a million tourists who are coming to your beautiful country,” inviting Cypriots to also visit Israel.
Cyprus and Israel, President Anastasiades said in his remarks, “have now embarked in a new era of partnership. A new era based on our common vision: To substantially and strategically upgrade our relationship in all possible fields of co-operation, especially on energy, security, economy, tourism, research and innovation.”
Referring to Cyprus’ foreign policy, he noted that it “is guided by our vision of transforming our neighbourhood through cooperation and establishing synergies.”
“Within this prism, we see the development of our relations with all our neighbours as a vehicle for promoting security and stability across the entire region,” he added.
According to President Anastasiades “energy is of course a strategic pillar of our cooperation which creates a very positive regional interest as proven by our joined commitment to the EastMed pipeline, a project that taps to the security of supply and energy diversification of Europe.”