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Cyprus

‘Increased Turkish aggression a threat to the region’

Disy leader Averof Neophytou

The complete opposite stance of Turkey with that of Cyprus, Greece and Israel was highlighted on Sunday by Disy leader Averof Neophytou, who stressed the increased aggression by Ankara threatens the stability of the region.

Speaking at a Policy of Leadership (Elnet) conference on challenges to security in Paris, he pointed to Cyprus and Israel as examples of democracy and stability in explosive region such as the Middle East.

He referred to the progressive way of thought of former president Glafcos Clerides, who “went away from the norms of the time and was the first leader to develop relations between Cyprus and Israel”. In 1994 it was under his leadership a Cyprus embassy was opened in Israel, “in this way taking relations between the two countries to the next level”.

The bilateral relations, he said, bring the two countries closer together in areas including education, business and facing common challenges such as migrant flows.

He also referred to the trilateral cooperations established by Cyprus and Greece with other countries in the region such as Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan.

This, he said, was important to the EU’s work in the region. “We believe that Cyprus, as a member of the EU with excellent bilateral relations with its neighbors and with a deep understanding of the dynamics of the Southeast Mediterranean, can be a catalyst in this regard,” he concluded.

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