Cyprus, Israel and Greece, the only reliable actors in the region, Photiou says

Cyprus, Israel and Greece remain the only democratic and reliable actors in the immediate region,

Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou has said in an intervention at the International Seminar on the Diaspora – Homeland Relationship, in Jerusalem.

In his speech, the Presidential Commissioner said the three countries share the same democratic values and have a relationship of genuine friendship, appreciation, mutual respect and common interests.

“In the light of underlying challenges and opportunities, and given the fluid and unpredictable situation in our region, Cyprus, Israel and Greece remain the only democratic, and the most predictable and reliable actors in the immediate region”, he stressed.

Noting that Cyprus partnership with Israel is “by definition against no one and open to all that share our collective geostrategic region”, he said that Cyprus is a neighbor who can function as a solid bridge between the European Union and Israel.

This is why, he noted, the solution to the Cyprus problem needs to be functional and viable and needs to respect the fundamental human rights and freedoms.

“It has to safeguard but further amplify Cyprus’s regional role that is also valuable to our partners such as Israel. President Anastasiades’ vision is a reunited Cyprus that will serve as a symbol of peace, co-existence, cultural and religious diversity in the region. Of course Turkey’s contribution in this regard is the ultimate key to success”, he stressed.

Moreover, he said that the discovery of hydrocarbon deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean can serve as a catalyst for stability and cooperation, creating a new era in the troubled region.

“Natural gas can become for the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean, what coal and steal was for Europe after the WWII. Of course our trilateral energy projects, EAST-MED pipeline to Europe as well as Euro Asia inter-connector are of strategic importance to our countries”, Photiou added, according to an official press release.

Noting that Cyprus, Greece and Israel have laid a jointly agreed Action Plan, he said it will enable their cooperation to further expand.

Photiou explained that this Plan “encourages the deepening of our communities’ cooperation in several capitals around the World, where the presence of our Diasporas is vibrant, as well as for joint cultural events, business ventures, schemes of cooperation between our Diaspora youth organizations, scholarship opportunities and exchange of multi-thematic visits; among others”.

Concluding, the Presidential Commissioner said that they are also planning to bring together the tourism authorities and operators of the three countries to encourage deals for the diaspora people in order to combine their holidays in the three countries.

Source: Cyprus News Agency