Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid hosted the Foreign Minister of Greece Nikos Dendias and the Foreign Minister of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides for a trilateral meeting Sunday in Jerusalem.
On their agenda was the creation of a basis for expanding cooperation between their respective countries on issues such as the fight against the coronavirus, the formation of an energy coalition and common challenges relating to the climate situation.
“This trilateral alliance is a strategic asset for all of us,” Lapid said, speaking English.
“It strengthens our economy, our security, our international standing. It is an integral part of something bigger. An integral part of the change that is happening here in the region. It is a moderate, pragmatic and forward-looking alliance.”
A full English-language transcript of Lapid’s remarks follows.
Remarks by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Aug. 22, 2021
“I’d like to publicly welcome you, my friends, Nikos Dendias and Nikos Christodoulides, to Israel.
This is my opportunity to thank you for offering us support during the fires in Jerusalem last week.
In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said that when your neighbor’s house is on fire, you lend him your hose.
Well here, between us, we lend each other planes.
When I asked you both for help last week, you didn’t hesitate, you just said yes.
And we agreed to work out the details later.
That’s true friendship.
And it is a friendship built on a deep foundation of shared values.
In our meeting today we discussed key strategic issues on our shared agenda.
Challenges and opportunities.
Immediate and long-term.
Local and global.
When faced with challenges, we are stronger when we face them together.
When faced with opportunities, we can make more of them, together.
this trilateral alliance is a strategic asset for us all.
It strengthens our economy.
Our international standing.
And it is a key part of something bigger.
A key part of a change that is happening in this region.
A moderate, pragmatic and forward-looking alliance.
A growing group of countries working together with a shared vision.
From the UAE and Bahrain in the Gulf,
Morocco in North Africa,
Egypt and Jordan in the Middle East,
Cyprus and Greece in the Mediterranean,
And others that are joining all the time.
Countries that can, and do, cooperate.
On energy and innovation.
On trade and development.
On culture and tourism.
We support one another in times of crisis,
We cooperate on the gas forum.
And most importantly, we have a shared vision for the future.
This is the way forward for Israel,
it is the way forward for the Mediterranean,
and it is the way forward for the Middle East and North Africa.
The next time we meet here in Jerusalem, or in Athens or Nicosia, I believe we will be joined by friends from more countries.
Thank you both for coming.
And thank you both, for your friendship.”
TPS contributed to this report.