Photo Credit: Mendy Hechtman / Flash 90
View of the Blue Lagoon in Paphos, Cyprus on May 30, 2018

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash met on Friday in Paphos, Cyprus, for the first-ever quadrilateral regional-strategic meeting.

At the meeting, taking place at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of Cyprus, the top diplomats discussed the opportunities for promoting regional projects in the fields of energy, tourism, and the fight against the Coronavirus, as well as the possibility of opening “Green Corridors” for travel in COVID-19 times between the countries and managing emergencies.

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The Foreign Ministers also discussed regional issues and the countries’ shared interests in the face of challenges to regional stability.

Ashkenazi stated that the meeting “is the first tangible step towards expanding the positive impact of the Abraham Accords to our partners in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus and Greece.”

“In the earliest stages of the Abraham Accords, we already spoke of the prosperity and stability that would spread throughout the entire Middle East as a result, and today we are expanding the circle of prosperity and stability towards the Eastern Mediterranean. Today, we are embarking on a new path of regional cooperation with the aim of turning our vision of cooperation into a reality that will improve the lives of our citizens,” he said.

Speaking of the specific threats to regional stability, Ashkenazi that “Iran and Hezbollah undermine the stability of the Middle East and the possibility of achieving regional peace.”

“Iran’s influence, through its proxies, brings with it destruction and instability to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen. Iran is working towards acquiring nuclear weapons and continues to develop long-range missiles that will pose a critical threat to Israel and its neighbors,” he warned

“Israel is determined to defend itself against any attempt to harm its sovereignty or citizens, and will do whatever it takes to prevent this radical and anti-Semitic regime from acquiring nuclear weapons,” he underscored.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.
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