Jerusalem, March 9, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Athena Arsalidou – CNA
President of the House of Representatives, Yiannakis Omirou, and Knesset Speaker, Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, underlined on Wednesday the importance of further strengthening the very good relations between the two Parliaments and the two countries.
Omirou, who is paying Israel an official visit at the invitation of his counterpart, was welcomed in the morning, in Knesset, during an official ceremony, followed by statements by the two Speakers.
The Knesset Speaker described his Cypriot counterpart as `one of Israel`s closest friends`, noting that his visit in Israel is part of a series of important measures that reflect the strengthening of the relations between the two countries.
“These measures include reciprocal visits by the heads of state of Israel and Cyprus, as well as the trilateral alliance established with Greece,” Edelstein said.
He expressed conviction that the cooperation between the two countries will grow stronger and will continue to flourish in many fields.
“I am sure that the Parliaments will play an important role in developing the ties in the areas of water resources, the environment, cultural exchange and other important projects,” he concluded.
In his statements, Omirou said that his visit in Israel will strengthen even more the very good relations between the two Parliaments and two states.
He recalled Edelstein`s visit to Cyprus in 2013, during which the two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
“During my visit here I will have the opportunity for fruitful meetings and discussions, with the President of the state of Israel, the Prime Minister, Ministers, in order to strengthen even more our relations which are in a very good level in many fields,” the Cypriot official said.
He also assured that the two countries will continue to work for the establishment of conditions of cooperation and peace in the wider region.
“I would like to assure you that Cyprus and Israel, Israel and Cyprus, as pillars of stability, cooperation, peace and prosperity in the region we will continue together to work towards the establishment of these conditions in the wider region,” Omirou stressed.
He also said that a military exercise is taking place today between our two countries, “which proves the strengthening, everyday, of our relations.”
Concluding, the Cypriot House Speaker expressed his deep sympathy for the victims of yesterday`s and today`s attacks in Israel and condemned the attacks, saying that they undermine the efforts for peace, stability, and cooperation in the Middle East and the wider region.
Omirou and his entourage later on held a meeting with the Chairman of the Cyprus-Israel Friendship Committee in Knesset, Professor Manuel Trajtenberg and members of the Group, while he is expected to meet with the leader of the opposition Labour Party Isaac Herzog and the chairman of the “Israel Beiteinu”, party, former Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.
In the morning, Omirou had a working breakfast with Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz.
The Cypriot House President also signed the guest book of the Knesset.
On Thursday the Cypriot official will hold separate meetings with President of Israel Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Cypriot Speaker will also be received by Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, the current Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem.
Omirou and his entourage will visit Yad Vashem – World Center for Holocaust Research, Documentation, Education and Commemoration.