Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has the distinction of being the first head of state to be hosted by President Reuven Rivlin. No other head of state has visited Israel during the year in which Rivlin has been president.
Anastasiades and his wife, Andri, who arrived in Israel on Sunday, are accompanied by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Trade Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides and other senior government officials. .Prior to beginning his state visit on Monday, Anastasiades met in Jerusalem with Greek Patriarch Theophilos III. Anastasiades previously visited Israel in May 2013. In June 2014 he invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit Cyprus. Although Netanyahu had intended to honor the invitation, the visit was delayed due to Knesset elections.
In meetings with Israeli dignitaries including Netanyahu, opposition leader Isaac Herzog, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Minister Yuval Steinitz and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, Anastasiades and his entourage will discuss energy issues, defense, economy, tourism and regional developments, specifically with regard to Iran.
The delegation is due to return to Cyprus on Tuesday.