WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Israeli ambassador in Washington hosted the launching of a new congressional grouping dedicated to improving Israeli-Greek-Cypriot ties.

Attending the launch Wednesday were the co-chairmen of the newly established Hellenic-Israel Caucus, Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), as well as lawmakers including Reps. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) and Eliot Engel (D-NY), the senior Democrat on the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

Greek-Cypriot-Israeli ties have become closer in recent years as tensions between all three nations and Turkey have intensified for varying reasons.

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren in his remarks at the dinner at his residence touted shared economic and strategic interests among Greece, Cyprus and Israel.

Christos Panagopoulos, the Greek ambassador to Washington, said cooperation among the three countries would bring “peace, stability and prosperity” to the region.

Also addressing the event was Olympia Neocleous, the charge d’affaires at the Cypriot embassy in Washington.