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December 9, 2016 12:57 pm

Israel Signs Trilateral Research and Development Pact With Greece, Cyprus

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) meets with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades (center) and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (left) in Jerusalem Thursday. Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) meets with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades (center) and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (left) in Jerusalem Thursday. Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO.

JNS.org — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the leaders of Cyprus and Greece on Thursday in Jerusalem as the three nations signed a research and development agreement to advance joint projects.

It was the second meeting between Netanyahu, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, in what the Israeli prime minster called a reflection of “the close and tightening relations between the countries.”

“There are shared values between us,” Netanyahu said at a press conference. “We are three democracies in the eastern Mediterranean. We’ve come to the conclusion quite a few years ago that we have so much to gain by cooperating with each other and we’re doing that, point of fact, including with the new agreement we signed today.”

The ties between the three countries are “strategically important for strengthening stability and establishing a regular framework for countries with common interests,” Netanyahu added.

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He also shared his plan to promote the formation of a regional task force specializing in natural disaster response, a multinational team that would bring aid to areas hit by wildfires, earthquakes or floods. The countries would assist one another in search and rescue efforts, in addition to providing logistical support and humanitarian aid.

Cyprus and Greece were among the first governments to send teams to help fight the fires that blazed across Israel in late November.

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