Cyprus' president Nicos Anastasiades, right, and Israel's President Reuven Rivlin talk, during a press conference after their meeting at the presidential palace in divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. Rivlin is in Cyprus for a one-day official visit for talks. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Israel: 'Much safer' Mediterranean with Cyprus teamwork

February 12, 2019 - 7:00 am

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Israel's president says cooperation between his country and Cyprus on intelligence, security and terror prevention has made the Mediterranean "much, much safer."

President Reuven Rivlin said after talks Tuesday with his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades that Israeli-Cypriot security ties "have never been better" with the two countries' navies and commando units sharing "space, knowledge and experience."

Rivlin said the focus of the neighbors' strategic partnership that includes Greece is developing the East Med gas pipeline that "could be one of the greatest underwater projects in the world."

The envisioned pipeline would carry natural gas from deposits in the east Mediterranean to Europe via Greece and Italy.

Rivlin said energy cooperation in the eastern Mediterranean could also benefit Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians.

He said the Israel-Cyprus-Greece partnership could be expanded.

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