ISRAELI PM EMBARKS ON A LANDMARK VISIT TO CYPRUS
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embarked Thursday, Feb 16, on a historic visit to Cyprus, reflecting rapidly shifting alliances in this turbulent part of the world, The Associated Press reported.
The visit - the first ever by an Israeli leader to the nearby island nation - is also a testimony to warming ties that have emerged from political and economic turmoil, as well as new economic prospects. It follows a succession of reciprocal visits by senior officials from both countries and several low-level agreements.
Netanyahu's office said the one-day visit "was designed to strengthen the improving ties between the two nations." The two sides will discuss cooperation in energy matters, agriculture, health and maritime research, and sign a disaster relief and a search and rescue agreement, it said.
Cyprus government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou told AP the visit "illustrates the great dynamic driving forward the improvement in relations between the two countries."
Although Cyprus is only a 50-minute flight away from Tel Aviv, ties between the two have long been chilly.
Nicosia backed the Palestinians in their quest for an independent state and looked on warily as Israel built military and trade relations with regional powerhouse Turkey, which doesn't recognize Cyprus as a sovereign state and has occupied its north since 1974.
- 1875 Birth in Idgir (Western Armenia) of ophthalmologist-surgeon Hayk Kanayan.
- 1916 During the First World War, Russian forces occupy Gareen (Erzroom) in north-eastern Turkey.
- 1921 Victory of the rebellion against the Menshevik Georgian Government in the so-called "Loree Neutral Zone". The Armenian flag is raised in all 41 villages of the zone.
- 1927 The People's Communist Council of the Republic approves a new regulation establishing the following Faculties at Yerevan State University: Socio-Economics, Education, Agriculture, Medicine and Technology.
- 1932 Creation of the Local Branch of the All-Union "Old Bolsheviks' Association".