The Minister for the Middle East, Tobias Ellwood MP, has said that “Britain is very proud of our role” in the establishment of Israel, at a joint event between CFI and Conservative Friends of Cyprus today.
Referring to the upcoming centenary of the Balfour Declaration, the Middle East Minister said: “Britain is very proud of our role, in the part we played, in establishing a Jewish homeland”.
Speaking about the Government’s preparations to mark the Balfour Declaration’s centenary, Mr Ellwood said that “No 10 is currently making those arrangements and I think that’s very, very important”.
Alluding to the security threats facing Israel, Mr Ellwood added: “We shouldn’t forget what Israel is living and breathing every day”.
Over 15 senior parliamentarians were joined by diplomats and 50 supporters today for the first ever joint event in the House of Commons between CFI and Conservative Friends of Cyprus, to celebrate the UK-Israel-Cyprus trilateral relationship.
The keynote speakers were Minister for the Middle East, Tobias Ellwood MP, Ambassador of Israel, H.E. Mark Regev, and the High Commissioner of Cyprus, H.E. Euripides L Evriviades.
The event was co-chaired by CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman Rt. Hon. Sir Eric Pickles MP, and CF Cyprus’s President Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP.
The MPs and peers to attend were: Bob Blackman MP, Graham Evans MP, Sir Roger Gale MP, John Howell OBE MP, Amanda Milling MP, Sheryll Murray MP, Will Quince MP, Michael Tomlinson MP, Martin Vickers MP, Baroness Redfern, Lord Gold of Westcliff-on-Sea, Lord Polak, and Lord Shinkwin.
The speakers highlighted the strong relationship between Israel, Cyprus, and the UK.
CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman, Rt. Hon. Sir Eric Pickles MP, opened the event by stating that “Israel and Cyprus have a long tradition of friendship… Both represent a thriving democracy in a very troubled region”.
CF Cyprus President, Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP, said that Israel and Cyprus are the “only democracies in the eastern Mediterranean” and that the two countries had many shared interests, including security and energy. She said: “I am delighted to be a friend of Israel, and a friend of Cyprus”.
Ambassador of Israel, H.E. Mark Regev, said that Israel and Cyprus were “united in wanting to see a more secure, more prosperous eastern Mediterranean”. He spoke in detail about the “very close partnership” Israel had with Cyprus.
Ambassador Regev emphasised: “By working together we can make a better future for Israel, for Cyprus, and for the region as a whole”.
High Commissioner of Cyprus, H.E. Euripides L Evriviades, underlined the friendship between the two countries and the need for regional stability.