Israeli officials expressed confidence Monday that recently reinvigorated ties with Cyprus will continue under newly elected president Nicos Anastasiades, who handily won Cyprus' presidential runoff election on Sunday.
Anastasiades, a center-right candidate who defeated a left-wing contender, is considered "very friendly" toward Israel and made a rare visit here in January 2012 as head of the opposition. One government officials aid that it was unusual in Cypriot politics for opposition leaders to travel abroad.
Following that visit, Anastasiades was quoted on a blog called the Hellenic Antidote of telling Cyprus radio that the cooperation that will develop between Israel and Cyprus' in the exploitation of hydrocarbon deposits in the exclusive economic zones will lead to enhanced cooperation in other fields as well, including tourism, research and commerce.
Anastasiades, according to Israeli officials, backed the boom in Israeli-Cypriot ties that came under the watch of his predecessor, Dimitris Christofias, a communist who in 2011 paid the first visit to Israel by a Cypriot president in over a decade.