Cyprus and Israel have signed two defence sector agreements Print

Nicosia, Jan 9 2012 (CNA)

Cyprus and Israel signed two agreements on Monday Jan 9th concerning defence cooperation and the protection and exchange of graded information.The agreements were signed during the official visit to Israel by Cypriot Minister of Defence Demetris Eliades, at the invitation of Israel's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Ehud Barak, who said Cyprus and Israel share common values and wish for peace with their neighbouring countries.

Barak also expressed his country's will for close cooperation for peace in the broader region and said 2012 would be an historical year for strategic decisions.Eliades referred to Cyprus' sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone, noting that the international community recognises and supports Cyprus' rights.Regarding the Cyprus issue, he pointedout Turkey's intransigence, which hinders a solution, noting that ''we insist on the procedure of negotiations and a solution in line with UN resolutions.''He also said that thenatural gas reserves found in the exclusive economic zones of Cyprus and Israel opened a new chapter in relations between the two countries. Eliades, who will be returningto Cyprus on Tuesday, also met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman, and Patriarch of Jerusalem and All Palestine Theophilos III.