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Israel sides against Turkey in Cyprus dispute

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said after his meeting with Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides that Israel is concerned over what it considers a Turkish provocative move in northern Cyprus.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (L) talks with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides during a Foreign Affairs Council meeting at the EU headquarters, Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2021.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met July 27 in Jerusalem with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, who is in Israel for a two-day-visit. The Cypriot minister met July 26 with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and later with President Isaac Herzog. According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Lapid expressed in the meeting "deep concern regarding the provocative Turkish actions in Cyprus." The ministry stated that the two foreign ministers also discussed bilateral cooperation, including trade, water and energy. The office of Herzog noted the strong bilateral ties between the two countries, stating that the two men discussed these ties, "as well as regional and international issues of common interest."

Lapid was reacting to the July 20 announcement by the authorities in the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on a partial reopening of the abandoned town of Varosha for potential resettlement. The decision by Turkey and Turkish Cypriot leaders was slammed by Greece, Cyprus and by several other world leaders, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken. On July 23, the United Nations Security Council demanded the immediate reversal of the unilateral decision.

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