The high level of cooperation and bilateral relations between Cyprus and Israel was built on the basis of the energy agenda. President Anastasiadis' visit to Jerusalem yesterday and his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed that energy is not at the top of the agenda for the first time. However, this did not differentiate relations between the two countries.
For the two countries at the moment, the first issue on the agenda, internally and externally, is tackling the pandemic. Shortly before his meeting with President Anastasiadis, the Israeli Prime Minister chaired a meeting of the ministerial group on the coronavirus.
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The readiness of Cyprus to open, from April 1, 2021, its borders for Israeli tourists who have been vaccinated, was an announcement of President Anastasiadis arriving at the Prime Minister's Office before the talks between the two leaders begin. According to President Anastasiadis, “Israeli citizens who have been vaccinated with an EOF-approved vaccine will not need to undergo a PCR test to travel to Cyprus or be self-restricted upon arrival.”
However, in addition to the opening of the Cypriot border for Israeli tourists, significant developments in the field of defense are expected in the near future, as revealed by Benny Ganz. In a post on Twitter, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that during the meeting they had with their Cypriot counterpart, they discussed the close military relations between the two countries, noting that this cooperation is for the benefit of the entire region. Benny Ganz announced that they agreed with Charalambos Petridis to resume joint military and naval exercises of the two countries, as soon as conditions allow, while at the same time they will continue to expand industrial cooperation between them. For his part, the Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that they discussed “the upgraded military and defense cooperation between the ministries and the armed forces” of the two countries.
In his statements, which preceded the talks between the two leaders, President Anastasiadis also said that in terms of bilateral relations, the excellent cooperation is reaffirmed, as well as the synergies that have been established both bilaterally and multilaterally, while ways will be examined. further cooperation in the field of Energy, mainly in projects such as the EastMed pipeline and the Eurasia interconnector. Referring to the Cyprus issue, the President of the Republic said that he would inform the Prime Minister of Israel about the developments and stressed that the form of the solution sought is the bi-zonal bi-communal federation, based on the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and EU principles and values. .
He also said that during the working dinner they would have the opportunity to exchange views on the proposal of Israel in relation to the “Green Passport” in view of the resumption of free movement, which is of great importance for Cyprus which depends on the tourism.
Welcoming the PD, V. Netanyahu said, among other things, that Nikos Anastasiadis is a great friend of Israel but also his own, noting that since the election of the President in 2013 they have been working together tirelessly and effectively to build a separate cooperation between the two countries, which is constantly strengthening.
Referring to the areas of cooperation, Mr. Netanyahu noted the areas of Energy, water management, tourism, public safety, but also Health in particular, through the efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic.
He also thanked Cyprus for its willingness to recognize Israeli vaccination passports, something that, as he said, his country will do for Cyprus.
On the energy sector, Mr Netanyahu said he would continue to work together on the EastMed pipeline to export gas to the two countries, which would open up new perspectives, and noted that he had received good suggestions on the issue. by the Prime Minister of Greece during his recent visit to Israel. He added that the Abraham Accords open new horizons of cooperation in the region, which could include Cyprus.