The Cypriot media report that Cyprus and Israel have signed two agreements on defense cooperation and the protection and exchange of classified information.
The agreements were signed during the official visit to Israel by Cypriot Minister of Defense Demetris Eliades, at the invitation of Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, who said Cyprus and Israel share common values and wish for peace with their neighboring countries. Barak added that Israel's desire for close cooperation for peace in the broader region and said 2012 would be an historical year for strategic decisions.
Eliades mentioned Cyprus' sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone, and he added that the international community recognizes and supports Cyprus' rights. He pointed to Turkey's intransigence on the Cyprus issue, which hinders a solution, saying, ''We insist on the procedure of negotiations and a solution in line with UN resolutions."
Eliades also said that the natural gas reserves found in the exclusive economic zones of Cyprus and Israel opened a new chapter in relations between the two countries.
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