Israel, UAE, Greece, Cyprus top diplomats to meet Friday: Israeli ministry

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The Israeli, Emirati, Greek and Cypriot foreign ministers are to meet in Cyprus for two days from Friday, Cyprus and Israel said.

Israel said the talks in Paphos on the island's west coast would be the first meeting of its kind involving the four nations, as part of efforts to advance regional strategic interests.

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The ministers would discuss economic and security issues, the coronavirus pandemic, and possible travel corridors to encourage tourism, Israel's foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

The Cypriot foreign ministry said they would also meet President Nicos Anastasiades in Paphos on Saturday, although the UAE delegation would take part by video link.

Cyprus said the unprecedented four-way talks, lasting into Saturday, would "take advantage of the prospects opened" by "the recent normalisation of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates".

The UAE and Israel formalised ties last year, one of four deals the US brokered between Israel and Arab countries.

The talks also follow tensions between Turkey and its neighbours over gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.

The Cypriot ministry said the meetings would touch on the "pandemic and its effects, economic cooperation, energy (and) tourism", among other issues, and aimed "to enhance peace, stability, and security in the wider region."

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