The President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades met today with the President of Israel Reuven Rivlin, at the Presidential Office, in Jerusalem.
In welcoming President Anastasiades, President Rivlin referred to the bonds between Cyprus and Israel over the years and the constantly expanding cooperation between the two countries. adding, among other things, that «it’s good to have such good friends here with us.
We are friends and neighbours,” while noting that Israel looks forward to “our further cooperation in the field of energy as well for the benefit of the welfare of our people.”
He then underlined that «we will never forget the warmth after the Jews were trying to get to Israel and were sent to Cyprus, how the people from Cyprus really took care of them and made them feel comfortable. They came from the ashes of the ‘ovens” of Europe and they found a home in Cyprus. We will never forget it.»
He also expressed deep appreciation for the participation of the President of the Republic in the Holocaust Forum scheduled to take place tomorrow, in Jerusalem, emphasizing that the Forum «is a unique and a historical gathering.
We are fighting antisemitism not because it is against Judaism. Antisemitism is something we have to fight because we know where it started but we never know where it ends. Antisemitism is part of racism, fascism, of hatred.»
He then pointed out that the participation of Cyprus, the participation of President Anastasiades is very important because it demonstrates that «you are a great friend and neigbour of Israel, and it is very important to have good neighbours and Cyprus is just that» adding that Israel is also a good friend of Cyprus.
Referring to the cooperation between the two countries he mentioned not only tourism since, as President Rivlin said, Cyprus «is the best place for us to have vacations,» but also the bilateral cooperation in many sectors including water management systems, agriculture, and security, including cybersecurity.
«We are very happy about the relationship we have and we can extend it. We are very close and we can do much better. It is a great honor that you are with us,» he added.
On his part, President Anastasiades said, among other things, that «we are happy to be here to honor those who sacrificed themselves and those who have struggled in order to give the chance for Israel to be now such a strong state despite the challenges it is facing.
We have managed to build such strong ties, bearing in mind the strong bonds we have from the past,» adding that «2000 babies were born in Cyprus during the second world war when the Jews came to Cyprus.»
President Anastasiades further said that «we share excellent relations and we are building up such a strong alliance facing all the challenges of the area, based always on international law, on the principles of democracy, of peace and security in the area.»
Referring to the trilateral and multilateral cooperation and the mechanisms set up for the benefit of the peoples of the participating countries as well as for peace, security, and stability in the region, the President said that «we are not excluding anyone, but what we are asking from those who would like to be in this block of friends for peace, security, and stability in the area, is for them to respect international law, human rights, the independence, and sovereign rights, and the dignity of any country.
I believe that what we are building up through the trilateral, through the multilateral cooperation and synergies is in the best interest of our peoples.
Some of our neighbours, unfortunately, without respect for international law have been trying to play a bigger role than they are entitled to. But I am sure that, at the very end, the law will prevail, logic will prevail, peace will prevail, and the need to be together, all of us in the area, will prevail, because it is in the interest of each one of the nations in the area.
I am quite happy that today we have such cooperation and such a wide range of activities in fields like tourism, trade, innovation, and important cooperation in combating terrorism and to see how to face any challenges.»/ibna