Energy ca­ble

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

ad­dress the Coun­cil, diplo­matic sources said.

Press re­ports sug­gested that Anas­tasi­ades con­veyed to Ne­tanyahu a mes­sage on the Pales­tinian is­sue from the Egyp­tian Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fat­tah al Sisi. Anas­tasi­ades is ex­pected to speak with Sisi again soon to con­vey Ne­tanyahu’s re­sponse.

Dur­ing their work­ing lunch on Mon­day, Ne­tanyahu talked about the pos­si­bil­ity of Cyprus and Is­rael co­op­er­at­ing in the tech­no­log­i­cal sec­tor, and re­ferred to his re­cent meet­ings with the CEOs of Google and Or­ange.

The two lead­ers also dis­cussed Iran, ter­ror­ism and the sit­u­a­tion in Tur­key. In the af­ter­noon, the Pres­i­dent, who was also ac­com­pa­nied by First Lady An­dri Anas­tasi­ades, For­eign Min­is­ter Ioan­nis Ka­soulides, Gov­ern­ment Spokesman Ni­cos Christodoulides and other se­nior of­fi­cials, laid a wreath at the burial site of Theodor Herzl, on Mount Herzl.

Later in the evening ad­dress­ing the state din­ner hosted by Pres­i­dent Reu­ven Rivlin, Anas­tasi­ades said that en­hanc­ing co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries was not tar­geted against any third coun­try.

“To the con­trary, our goal is to re­solve the soon­est pos­si­ble long-stand­ing prob­lems, which threaten the ex­is­tence of our coun­tries,” he noted. Our strug­gle is to achieve an en­dur­ing so­lu­tion in Is­rael but also in Cyprus, on the ba­sis of UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tions, he added.

“As our eco­nomic and busi­ness ties de­velop fur­ther, our po­lit­i­cal will to nur­ture and cul­ti­vate fur­ther our bi­lat­eral re­la­tions grows stronger. Our co­op­er­a­tion ex­tends over a wide range of fields, from tourism, eco­nomic ex­changes, agri­cul­ture, busi­ness and high tech in­dus­tries. Com­mer­cial and trade ties have ex­panded and cul­tural re­la­tions have blos­somed,” he noted.

He said that to­day Cyprus boasts a syn­a­gogue and in 2013 the Univer­sity of Cyprus with the co­op­er­a­tion of the Em­bassy of Is­rael in Cyprus, launched a Jewish stud­ies depart­ment.

He noted that the dis­cov­ery of hy­dro­car­bon re­serves “has opened new hori­zons for our bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and we are work­ing tire­lessly and with de­ter­mi­na­tion to re­alise this po­ten­tial to our mu­tual ben­e­fit.”

With re­gard to de­vel­op­ments on the Cyprus prob­lem, Anas­tasi­ades said that they are promis­ing and that he is en­cour­aged by the fact that full-fledged ne­go­ti­a­tions aim­ing at a com­pre­hen­sive, vi­able and fair set­tle­ment of the Cyprus is­sue have restarted with the new Turk­ish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak­inci.

“We are cau­tiously op­ti­mistic that con­di­tions may soon pre­vail that may en­able sub­stan­tive progress and even­tu­ally a last­ing so­lu­tion,” he added.

On his part, Pres­i­dent Rivlin ex­pressed hope that “this visit will take our re­la­tion­ship from be­ing dear neigh­bours and friends, to feel­ing, truly, like close fam­ily.”

He re­called that dur­ing his visit to Is­rael in June 2013, Pres­i­dent Anas­tasi­ades spoke of his de­sire to en­hance and de­velop strate­gi­cally im­por­tant bi­lat­eral re­la­tions.

“You also em­pha­sised our mu­tual com­mit­ment to de­velop and utilise our cross-bor­der Mediter­ranean nat­u­ral gas and oil re­serves.

“On the more wor­ry­ing side of things, you re­ferred to the sit­u­a­tion in Syria, and ex­pressed con­cern that the cri­sis may spill over into the wider re­gion,” he added.

He noted that “we can firmly agree, that you were right on tar­get; not only with your pos­i­tive and op­ti­mistic hopes, re­gard­ing the ‘con­struc­tive, cre­ative and ef­fec­tive co­op­er­a­tion’ - as you put it - be­tween our coun­tries; but also un­for­tu­nately, with re­gard to the dis­tress­ing de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in the re­gion around us.”

He re­ferred to the eco­nomic dis­cov­ery of the Mediter­ranean nat­u­ral gas re­serves, which “is con­stantly bring­ing our two is­lands closer to­gether,” adding that “we have of course, al­ways shared much in com­mon, cul­tur­ally and his­tor­i­cally.”

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