Knesset Speaker Edelstein: "I am certain that our parliaments will play an important part in developing the ties in the areas of water resources, environment, cultural exchanges, and other important projects our countries share."
Cypriot Parliament President Yiannakis L. Omirou visited the Knesset on Wednesday, 8 March 2016. He was greeted with an honor guard, and then laid a wreath at the foot of the memorial for IDF soldiers and signed the Knesset guestbook.
During a joint press conference with Edelstein, held in the Chagall State Hall, the senior Cypriot official expressed his gratitude for being invited to Israel and for having the opportunity to conduct "fruitful and constructive meetings, and exchanges of views, in an effort to strengthen even more the very good relations between our parliaments and states."
Omirou expressed his "deep sympathy" for the victims of the terror attacks which took place in Israel yesterday and today. "I have to strongly condemn these attacks, which undermine the efforts for peace, stability and cooperation in the Mideast and the wider region," he stated. "I am certain that during my visit to Israel I will have fruitful meetings and exchanges of ideas with the President, Prime Minister, [Knesset] Speaker and ministers – in order to strengthen even more our relations, which are on a very good level in many fields," he told reporters, while mentioning last week’s trilateral meeting in Nicosia between the foreign affairs committees of Israel, Cyprus Greece. He also said that the joint military exercise between the armed forces of Cyprus and Israel, which begins today, "proves that the relations between our countries are growing stronger each day."
Speaker Edelstein welcomed Omirou to Jerusalem and the Knesset, "the beating heart of Israeli democracy," and said "You are one of Israel’s closest friends. Your visit here today is part of a series of important measures that reflect the strengthening of the relations between our countries." These measures, he said, include reciprocal visits by the heads of state of Israel and Cyprus, as well as the establishment of a trilateral strategic alliance between Cyprus, Greece and Israel.
"I am sure the cooperation between our countries will grow stronger and flourish," Edelstein told Omirou. "I am absolutely certain that our parliaments will play an important part in developing the ties in the areas of water resources, environment, cultural exchanges, and other important projects our countries share."
Following the press conference, Edelstein and Omirou held a working meeting in the Knesset Speaker’s bureau with the participation of MK Manuel Trajtenberg (Zionist Camp), chairman of the Israel-Cyprus Parliamentary Friendship Group. The President of the Cypriot Parliament also met with opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp). Later, Omirou and members of his delegation observed a plenary sitting from the VIP gallery. During the session, Speaker Edelstein welcomed the delegation, and said Israel would support Cyprus in the aftermath of economic crisis it experienced.