Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Cyprus President calls Israel a ‘natural partner’ - SAN DIEGO JEWISH WORLD

22 February 2017

NICOSIA, Cyprus (Press Release) — The President of Cyrus, Nicos Anastasiades, on Wednesday delivered a forceful address to an almost 100-member delegation of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations visiting the country as part of the Conference’s 43rd Annual Leadership Mission to Israel.

Describing the relationship between Cyprus and Israel, the President declared, “In a world characterized by the rise of turmoil, extremism, sectarianism, and terrorism, Cyprus, and Israel—two countries at the heart of the Mediterranean that share the same values and common vision – are beacons of stability, and natural partners of the West in the Middle East.”

President Anastasiades added, “Given the regional unrest and multitude of threats we face, cooperation in all spheres, particularly in the field of security, is imperative.” He noted that the relationship Cyprus has built with the United States and Israel is “one of strategic choice, and testimony to this is the unprecedented high level meetings between Cyprus, the United States, and Israel, at all levels.”

Highlighting the significant impact resulting from the discovery of energy reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean, he said, “Undoubtedly, Cyprus, Israel, and the United States are fully aware of the fact that natural gas can become a vehicle for creating a region of unity, peace and stability, forging regional cooperation and synergies, and promoting strategic interests.” He also noted Egypt and Jordan’s interest in participating in this effort in the spheres of energy, security, and defense.

Referring to the strong Cyprus-Israel bilateral relationship beyond the region, the President said, “…within the EU, Cyprus has acted as a moderate voice for Israel and its interests, pressing on Israel’s role as a strategic partner and a stabilizing force in the Middle East and we have been calling on our partners to refrain from any unilateral measures which could negatively affect EU-Israeli relations.”

At a time of rising anti-Semitism world-wide, President Anastasiades set the standard international leaders should emulate in the fight against anti-Semitism and bigotry, saying, “Cyprus will continue to be a frontrunner in the eradication of anti-Semitism, which has no place in the modern world and which threatens not only the democracy and security of Israel but also of the world.”

The President praised the Conference of Presidents and its member organizations for their work in the United States that “reinforced the political message that our partnership is one of truly strategic importance, and have attached another important dimension to our relations—that of people to people contacts.”

At the conclusion of the President Anastasiades’ remarks, Conference of Presidents CEO Malcolm Hoenlein expressed sincere thanks to him for the steadfast commitment of Cyprus to deepening and broadening ties to Israel, the formal Cyprus, Israel, Greece Eastern Mediterranean initiative, and promoting stability in the region.

Mr. Hoenlein said, “This visit to Cyprus follows visits by Conference leaders to Morocco, Egypt and Israel. The special Cyprus-Israel relationship is the cornerstone for a broader Eastern Mediterranean initiative, and the countries we visited are interested in joining the efforts that could contribute to stability and growth in the region.

“The Conference delegation visit is the latest in a series of cooperative efforts reflecting the close ties between the Greek, Cypriot and Jewish diaspora communities in the United States. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners for the benefit of our communities, Cyprus, Greece, and the region.”

The delegation was also addressed by other high-level Cypriot officials including, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ioannis Kasoulides, Commissioner to the Presidency for Humanitarian Affairs and Overseas Cypriots, Photis Photiou, and received a briefing by Andreas D. Mavroyiannis, Chief Cypriot negotiator in the conflict with [cleansed of its Christian majority in 1974 & illegally occupied by Turkey ever since] Northern Cyprus.

The Ambassador of the United States to Cyprus, Kathleen Doherty and the Ambassador of Greece to Cyprus, Ilias Fotopoulos and the Deputy Ambassador from Israel, Sami Abu Janeb extended remarks to the group over lunch.

The proven and effective voice of organized American Jewry for six decades, the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations advances the interests of the American Jewish Community, promotes broad-based support for Israel, and addresses critical concerns facing Israel and world Jewry.

Preceding provided by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.