We share deep histories and rich culture. We are all vibrant democracies. We all value pluralism, freedom, and peace. And we are all threatened by forces of terror and religious radicalism.
Following is an excerpt of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks from this afternoon (Thursday, 20 December 2018), at the 5th Israel-Greece-Cyprus Summit, in Beersheba, at the joint statements with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras:
"This is the fifth summit between our three countries. We have been meeting regularly since our first summit in 2016. And as I said, our personal friendships grow stronger as our agreements grow longer and longer and detailed. And these bonds are not merely based on shared interests and geographic proximity—they are based on shared values in a very volatile region, very violent region.
We share deep histories and rich culture. We are all vibrant democracies. We all value pluralism, freedom, and peace. And we are all threatened by forces of terror and religious radicalism. Our alliance is an anchor of stability and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean.
But we have today a special guest with us, and the presence of our dear friend, the Ambassador of the United States to Israel, David Friedman, at our summit today reflects the US support for our partnership, for our projects and for our values, which the US shares.
Today, we reaffirmed our commitment for the East-Med pipeline, discussed important aspects of the project, and we’re going to sign formally, officially this agreement in a few months.
As we seek to build prosperity, a pipeline for prosperity, there are forces in our region that seek to build tunnels for terror. And a few weeks ago, Israel launched a campaign to expose and neutralize cross-border terror tunnels on our northern border with Lebanon. These tunnels were built by Hezbollah with direct support and funding from Iran. This is the Iranian web of aggression in the Middle East, which also terrorizes Europe and the entire world.
Israel continues its operation against the Hamas terror tunnels, and will do so until its completion. As we speak, we’re employing means to neutralize these tunnels, and we’ll continue to act in Syria to prevent Iran’s effort to militarily entrench itself against us. We are not going to reduce our efforts; we’re going to increase our efforts.
We have a unique partnership, a program, internship program for young entrepreneurs from Greece and Cyprus to intern at Israeli hi-tech companies. And I hope to see many more young and not-so-young entrepreneurs from both of your countries in Israel in the coming years."
Following the Prime Minister's remarks, Cypriot President Anastasiades, Greek Prime Minister Tsipras and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman also issued statements.
The leaders then toured a cyber and innovation exhibit at the Carasso Science Park in Beersheba.
Prime Minister Netanyahu, Cypriot President Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Tsipras signed a joint trilateral declaration.
Signing the (below) agreements for the Israeli side were Communications Minister Ayoob Kara, Science and technology Minister Ofir Akunis, Israel National Cyber Directorate head Yigal Unna and Israel Meteorological Service Director Nir Stav.
* MOU on cooperation in preventing cyber attacks
* MOU on exchanges of information on the regulation of smart cities and homes
* MOU on mutual assistance in preventing cyber attacks
* MOU on technical cooperation in meteorology and exchanges of information
* Joint declaration on the mutual desire to enter into negotiations on a framework agreement between the governments
* Framework agreement on cooperation in satellites and their applications
PM Netanyahu, Cypriot Pres. Anastasiades & Greek PM Tsipras
Credit: GPO/Kobi Gideon