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January 19, 2012 5:00 am

Netanyahu Heading to Cyprus With Natural Gas Front and Center

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Israeli PM Netanyahu. Photo: wiki commons.

Haaretz – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be going to Cyprus on February 16 in what a Foreign Ministry source says is the first-ever visit by an Israeli prime minister to the island country. Netanyahu hopes to increase cooperation with Cyprus in underwater drilling for natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as security cooperation in the wake of the crisis in Israel’s relations with Turkey and the instability of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

Over the past few days, Cypriot media outlets have reported that Israel and Cyprus has signed a cooperation agreement relating to the protection of natural gas drilling sites, and UPI reported that Israel has also asked Cyprus for permission to station aircraft in the island country. The Cypriot government has not yet responded and it can be assumed that the subject will come up during Netanyahu’s visit.

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