Israel says outreach to Turkey won’t come at Cyprus’s expense

Any bid by Israel to improve strained ties with Turkey won’t come at the expense of its “strategic relationship” with neighboring Cyprus, President Isaac Herzog said earlier in the island nation.

Herzog, speaking after talks with his Cypriot counterpart, said he’s aware next week’s visit to Turkey has touched a raw nerve in ethnically-split Cyprus, which accuses Ankara of trying to place the entire island under its control.

Herzog told Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades that “nothing in my visit and what would ensue will be on the account of this strategic relationship with your country.”

He said Israel seeks to strengthen relations and pursue dialogue with all nations and all faiths, including Turkey, which he called “a very important neighbor of ours that has a huge impact on our lives in many fields.”

“We have to…if possible to lower the tension and move on in a true dialogue that would definitely include issues of climate and the economy,” said Herzog.

President Isaac Herzog, left, and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades speak to the media, during a press conference after their meeting at the presidential palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, March 2, 2022 (Iakovos Hatzistavrou/Pool via AP)

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