Chairman of the Jewish Agency Isaac Herzog, Greek Dep. Minister of Foreign Affairs Terens Quick, Presidential Commissioner for Cypriot Diaspora Photis Photiou, Nicosia, Cyprus, 2018..
(photo credit: JEWISH AGENCY)
Ahead of next week's trilateral summit between leaders and governments of Israel, Greece and Cyprus, slated to take place in Beer Sheba, the Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency, Isaac Herzog, met in Nicosia, Cyprus, with Greece’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Terens Quick, and with the Presidential Commissioner for the Cypriot Diaspora, Photis Photiou, to expand the cooperation between the countries’ diaspora communities.
The project of collaboration between the Jewish communities and other diaspora communities was launched in 2017 by The Jewish Agency’s previous Chairman of the Executive, Natan Sharansky, and has dovetailed the process of strengthening strategic ties between the governments of Greece, Cyprus and Israel.
The Greek diaspora numbers around 5.5 million people, mainly in the United States but also in Great Britain, Germany, France and Australia. The Cypriot diaspora numbers around one million; most live in Great Britain, Australia and the United States. Jews who live outside of Israel total approximately 7 million, with the great majority living in the United States, and sizable communities in France, the UK, Argentina and Russia.
It was agreed in the meeting to organize joint “roots” trips for young Americans of Jewish, Greek and Cypriot descent, on which they will learn about shared aspects of their histories. The leaders also agreed to bring members of their respective diaspora leaderships to convene Israel in February 2019, in the context of meetings of The Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors, in order to identify common challenges and ways their respective diaspora communities could cooperate in coping with them.
Herzog, Quick and Photiou also visited a commemorative site in Nicosia dedicated to the children born in British detention camps in Cyprus to Jewish Holocaust survivors who attempted to immigrate to British Mandate Palestine.
“It’s important that we learn from each other and deepen the connections between our communities in the diaspora,” Mr. Herzog said. “But it’s no less important that we are sharing an important message of peace. We are proving that diverse nations and religions in our region of the world can work together – and are interested in working together – in a peaceful and friendly manner, toward common interests that benefit all of us.”
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