06 May 2013 14:42

NICOSIA - President Anastasiades on Sunday described his three-day working visit to Israel as the “start of a new era in bilateral relations,” adding that he was “absolutely satisfied” with the talks he had earlier today with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Prime Minister, Anastasiades said, reiterated his principled positions with regard to the question of Cyprus and assured that improved Israeli ties with Ankara will not affect in a negative way relations with Nicosia.
Speaking to the press after talks in Jerusalem between the two delegations, President Anastasiades said “today we embarked on a strategically important dialogue with a view at enhancing and further developing our bilateral ties, which are founded on common principles and values.”
The Israeli Premier welcomed the Cypriot President “in a spirit of cooperation.”
The two leaders had a 20 minute private meeting, followed by talks which lasted about one hour.
“We had the opportunity to exchange not only proposals leading to joint strategic options but also ideas which serve, in the best possible way, the common interests of both countries, on a bilateral level as well as in the wider region,” the President added.
He said that talks, as expected, focused on cooperation in energy matters and both sides reaffirmed their joint commitment to develop and exploit cross-border natural gas and oil reserves.
Nicosia and Jerusalem also agreed to reactivate agreements and accelerate the conclusion of agreements on health, research and development, technology, civilization, combating terrorism and organized crime.
“We also discussed current developments in the region, which are worrying, with particular emphasis on the situation in Syria, where the crisis may spill over into the wider region,” Anastasiades told the press after his talks.
Netanyahu and Anastasiades expressed the belief that Iran must engage in a constructive dialogue to comply with its international obligations with regard to its nuclear programme.
“I briefed the Prime Minister on the current economic difficulties Cyprus is facing, pointing out at the same time that I remain committed to a political settlement in Cyprus, in line with UN resolutions and EU values and principles,” President Anastasiades stressed.
Premier Netanyahu, he continued, “showed full understanding and reiterated the traditional positions of principle on the question of Cyprus, reaffirming that Israel’s improved ties with Turkey are not going to affect Cyprus-Israel relations and I want to emphasis this.”
The President said Cyprus seeks constructive, creative and effective cooperation with Israel, which he thanked for its “impeccable cooperation and understanding of our positions.”(CNA)


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