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Cyprus

Defence minister concludes Israel visit  

Christoforos Fokaides (second right)

The promotion of strategic cooperation between Cyprus and Israel in the fields of defence and security was discussed by Minister of Defence Christoforos Fokaides during a meeting with his Israeli counterpart Moshe Ya`alon in Israel.

An official statement issued on Tuesday said the two ministers also discussed the latest developments in the region, and reviewed the progress of cooperation between the two countries, and laid the foundations for the next practical steps in order to strengthen and upgrade their cooperation following the recent visit of the Israeli Premier to Cyprus and his talks with President Nicos Anastasiades.

The statement said the two sides would engage in the creation of a Cooperation Committee and in strengthening the framework of bilateral agreements in the fields of defence and security through the so called `Status of Forces Agreement`,  which governs the presence status of official personnel of each country in the territory of the other in carrying out common activities.

These practical steps, according to the statement, are part of a wide range of actions of the two countries in creating the conditions for cooperation in the Middle East and North Africa. The ministers have agreed that both Cyprus and Israel are part of a region of geopolitical uncertainty, with asymmetric threats and terrorism as well as humanitarian crisis and coordinated action is needed.

The ministers also reviewed the energy prospects in the Eastern Mediterranean, pointing out that it was imperative to develop national capacities in order to meet various challenges.
During his official visit, which ended on Tuesday Fokaides also met the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III.

CNA

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