Israeli, Cypriot MODs discuss regional cooperation, Iranian aggression

“Israel will continue to work with our partners in facing Iranian aggression, which harms security and stability everywhere. In such challenging times, partnerships are crucial,” said Gantz

Ganz and Petrides on Thursday. Photo: Ariel Hermoni (MOD)

Israeli Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, met with his Cypriot counterpart Minister Charalambos Petrides on Thursday. The two discussed the defense cooperation between both countries as well as the trilateral pact between Cyprus, Greece and Israel.

Touching upon the recent upsurge of violence in Israel, Petrides defended the country’s right to defend itself from terrorist attacks, the Cyprus Mail reported, adding that the minister also “expressed deep regret for the victims of the attacks and welcomed the ceasefire agreement, underling Egypt’s role in the negotiations.”

“The great bond between Israel and Cyprus is based on shared values and interests, and a common vision for a peaceful region,” said Israel’s Gantz. “This translates to many areas of defense cooperation, including strategic dialogue, industrial projects and military activities.

“From personal meetings between us, to the excellent military exercise held in Cyprus in June, and the working groups held by our policy leaders – defense cooperation strengthens the readiness of each country to face developing challenges.
“We also value the trilateral framework with Greece – it is an asset to the force build-up of the individual countries, as well as to wider regional security.”

Referring to Operation “Breaking Dawn”, Gantz slammed Iran for providing “Islamic Jihad in Gaza with tens of millions of dollars per year… The Iranian Ayatollahs are involved in this front. Islamic Jihad in Gaza is a violent Iranian proxy.”

“On the operational level – the State of Israel will maintain its freedom of action in all arenas, added Gantz, repeating his previous warning that “our eyes and targets focus on anyone who threatens the security of our citizens – from Khan Yunis to Tehran.
“On the strategic level, Israel will continue to work with our partners in facing Iranian aggression, which harms security and stability everywhere - from the Israel-Gaza border, to the Mediterranean Sea, to the Gulf and beyond. In such challenging times, partnerships are crucial,” Gantz said.

Following the meeting, Petrides met with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulcher and also visited the Allied Cemetery in the city of Ramleh, where 11 Cypriots who dies during World War II are buried.

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