Relations between the Republic of Cyprus and Israel were the focus of a panel discussion during the last day of the 27th Annual Cyprus and Hellenic Leadership Conference, which took place in Washington.

Speakers of the panel on “Strengthening of Cyprus – Israel relations“ included Cyprus Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Nicholas Emiliou and American Jewish Committee (AJC) Director of Government and International Affairs, Jason Isaacson, who referred to the upgrading of the Cyprus – Israel relations in the past three years, as well as to the prospects of further enhancing Greek – Israeli relations.

In his speech, Ambassador Emiliou referred to the long lasting historic relations between Cyprus and Israel, recalling that diplomatic relations began when the Republic of Cyprus was established in 1960.

Emiliou noted that in the past three years, relations between the two states have improved, adding that their cooperation reached all sectors, including energy.

The two panelists referred to the agreements signed between Cyprus and Israel in the fields of commerce and tourism as well as on the role of the Greek and Jewish communities in the US in the development of relations between Cyprus and Israel.

The discussion which followed focused on the deterioration of the Turkey – Israel relations, as well as on the possibilities of the Greek – American community to increase its influence on the decision making centres in Washington and thus further promote national issues.

Isaacson said that American Jewish organisations seek to improve relations between Ankara and Jerusalem through their connections with the American – Turkish organisations.

The Conference was also attended by members of the AJC. Jewish American members of the Senate and the House of Representatives criticized Turkey`s stance on the Cyprus issue as well as Ankara`s relations to Iran and Israel.

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