(JNS.org) Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Israeli leaders emphasized their nations’ shared challenges while holding meetings in Jerusalem.
“Israel and Cyprus are both small countries, and share common threats in the shape of radical Islam, Iran, and the ongoing conflict in Syria, to name but a few,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told reporters on Monday, adding that Cyprus “has always been a quiet partner for peace.”
Anastasiades said, “Cyprus and Israel are geographical neighbors, which could partly account for our close relationship. But our friendship extends beyond that. We share common democratic values, and share many concerns, which is why we have grown to rely on each other’s assistance.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Anastasiades that much of the terrorism in the Middle East “is fomented by Iran that, along with its henchmen in Hezbollah, operate a worldwide terrorism network of over 30 countries in five continents. In 2012, a Lebanese-Swedish Hezbollah terrorist was arrested in Cyprus for plotting to kill Israelis. Another Hezbollah plot was thwarted last month when Cypriot authorities arrested a Lebanese-Canadian man over his possession of alleged bomb-making materials, including ammonium nitrate fertilizer.
Anastasiades also met with Greek Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, who said the “historic course of the island of Cyprus, which is experiencing hardship, is interwoven with the course of the Middle East in general and the Holy Land in particular,” according to the Cyprus Mail.