Cyprus condemns the barbaric murder that took place this past Saturday against a Jewish family. The murder was committed by people lacking any humanity.
(Communicated by the Media Adviser to President Peres)
President Shimon Peres held a working meeting this morning with the President of Cyprus, Mr. Demetris Christofias. The President of Cyprus is here on a state visit, his first visit to Israel, as a guest of President Peres, together with his Foreign Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade. He leads a delegation of 60 Cypriot businesspeople.
At the conclusion of their meeting the two Presidents delivered statements to the media. President Christofias emphasized in his message that Cyprus condemns the barbaric murder that took place this past Saturday against a Jewish family. The murder was committed by people lacking any humanity and is intended as a provocation against efforts to achieve peace and security in the region. In the name of the people of Cyprus, allow me to offer my condolences to the President and to the families, he said.
Within the framework of their meeting the two discussed strengthening strategic relations between the two countries and specifically mentioned their joint fight against terror. President Peres thanked his counterpart from Cyprus for being the first country to declare that it would not cooperate with flotillas to Gaza and in fact takes concrete steps to prevent flotillas from leaving its ports. With regard to this the President of Cyprus said: "Terror activities in Gaza are unacceptable and therefore we prevented the flotillas from leaving."
It should be noted that during the second half of 2012 Cyprus will serve as the rotating President of the European Union. President Christofias expressed his commitment to strengthen the relations between our countries, and the relations between Israel and the European Union under the Presidency of Cyprus. "We are ready to contribute within the framework of the European Union to the peace process in the region. Consider us as a bridge to advancing the peace process, and economic and diplomatic cooperation with Europe."
In connection with the Israeli Palestinian conflict the President of Cyprus said: "Cyprus would like to contribute to the strengthening of the peace process in the Middle East, first and foremost to the acceleration of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. We support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel, as well as Israel’s right to security and stability. We are very well aware of the right of Israel to live next to peace loving neighbors."
During the course of the meeting, two cooperation agreements were signed between the countries. One in the field of education – an agreement between the University of Tel Aviv and Cyprus Institute, and the second a financial one – an agreement between both stock exchanges. The two also agreed on the expansion of cooperation in the fields of energy, specifically in the field of gas, and of cooperation in the field of agricultural science and technology.
At the beginning of the meeting the President of Cyprus gave President Peres a very special and moving gift – a picture album of Jewish refugees, Holocaust survivors who stayed in Cyprus during the British mandate period.