I have the honour and the privilege to address you today, both in my capacity as Acting President of the Republic and as President of the House of Representatives, on this special occasion, celebrating the twinning of the municipalities of Pafos and Herzliya.
The ceremony marks the successful conclusion of a significant initiative, both for Cyprus and Israel, given the extremely crucial circumstances our region is facing. I would like to congratulate everybody involved in materializing this goal, but especially so, the two Municipalities.
The twinning itself highlights and enhances the existing friendly relations between our two countries, which are not limited to the governmental or the parliamentary level, but also spread to the municipal framework. The continuous effort to further strengthen these relations is a result of our joint will, shared vision and common expectations.
During the last years, the deepening of the bilateral relations between Cyprus and Israel has also been reflected at parliamentary level, something for which I am very pleased. In this context, I would like to briefly mention, as points of reference, the exchange of visits between my predecessor Mr. Omirou to Israel a few months ago and the prior visit of H.E. the President of the Knesset, Mr. Edelstein to Cyprus in 2013, which included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between our two Parliaments. Moreover, in March 2016 the House of Representatives hosted a tripartite meeting of Chairmen of parliamentary committees on Foreign Affairs from Cyprus, Greece and Israel. Last but not least, the visit to Israel by the Chairman of the Standing Committee of Foreign and European Affairs again within 2016 and, in 2012, that by the Chairman and Members of the Standing Committee on Financial and Budgetary Affairs.
Twinnings are initiatives that are both valuable and necessary, as they create the essential circumstances to boost our cooperation further, beyond energy and tourism, also into youth, culture and new technologies, like the very possibilities the two municipalities explore now, given the knowledge and expertise in this field that Herzliya can “export” to Cyprus, through its distinguished academics and businessmen, some of which are present here today. I am certain Pafos will be happy to also share its know-how with Herzliya in many other fields, which this western-most city of Cyprus excels in.
In my dual capacity here today, I would like to underline the commitment of both the executive and legislative branches of authority in Cyprus in supporting and promoting this twinning and other such initiatives, that serve first and foremostly your respective citizens and address mutual concerns and expectations.
Let me congratulate you once again, along with the Members of your Municipal Councils, on the twinning of your Municipalities and express the wish that your cooperation keeps growing and evolving in the years to come, turning all your efforts into benefits for your citizens, but also the people of both Cyprus and Israel.
Source: Press and Information Office.