Dr Mike Evans

Netanyahu meets with leaders of Greece, Cyprus in new partnership

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a joint statement at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia alongside Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, expressed the significant progress in the trilateral partnership among their democracies within the Eastern Mediterranean. He acknowledged the shared cultural comfort, emphasizing the warm exchanges between Israelis and Cypriots during their seaside dinner.

The focus of their discussions revolved around three critical energy-related areas: gas, electricity, and firefighting. They addressed the potential for gas exports from Israel and Cyprus, with decisions expected in the coming months. The leaders contemplated linking Israel to the planned electricity connector between mainland Greece, Crete, and Cyprus to enhance electricity utilization. They also discussed cooperation in fire management, including AI systems for early detection.

Turning to security, Netanyahu highlighted instances of Israel’s collaboration with Cyprus and Greece in combating Iranian-backed terrorism. Additionally, the leaders discussed the prospect of expanding the Abraham Accords to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia, potentially creating connections spanning India, the Arabian Peninsula, Israel, Cyprus, Greece, and Europe.

Netanyahu conveyed his gratitude for the warm hospitality and emphasized the strong friendships he shares with both Kyriakos and Nikos. He also announced Israel’s intention to open its dairy products market, expressing enthusiasm for enhancing economic ties with Greece and Cyprus in the dairy industry.

In a lighthearted note, Netanyahu jokingly remarked on the enjoyment of Greek dairy products and announced the imminent opening of Israel’s dairy market to Greek and Cypriot imports, fostering economic cooperation and friendly competition.

Prime Minister Netanyahu further underlined the enduring people-to-people connections between the nations and the deepening cooperation within the trilateral framework. These interactions have not only extended to economic spheres but also to security and environmental matters.

Regarding the environment, Netanyahu noted the urgency of addressing climate change and the increasing threat of wildfires. Recognizing that their nations were not only becoming warmer due to their strong diplomatic bonds but also facing rising global temperatures, they discussed the importance of cooperation in firefighting. They plan to leverage advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence, for early fire detection and response, demonstrating a shared commitment to environmental stewardship and safety.

The leaders also acknowledged the potential for expanding their collaboration in various fields, such as technology, healthcare, and education. The remarkable progress achieved so far and the warm relationships shared by their citizens provide a solid foundation for deeper engagement in the years ahead.

Prime Minister Netanyahu also expressed his sincere gratitude for the opportunity to meet with his counterparts in Cyprus and Greece and the genuine hope to host them in Jerusalem in the near future. The trilateral partnership, built on trust and shared values, is set to yield even greater benefits for their peoples and countries as they continue working closely together in the Mediterranean region and beyond.