Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
and Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias signed a search and rescue agreement on Thursday.
According to the agreement, in the event of a disaster Israeli aircraft will be authorized to enter Cyprus' airspace, and vice versa.
A similar agreement between the Jewish state and Turkey was revoked recently in light of heightened tensions between the countries.
Search and rescue deal. Christofias (L) with Netanyahu (Photo: Amos Ben Gershom, GPO)
While in Nicosia, Netanyahu also addressed the Iranian nuclear threat, saying the sanctions imposed by the international community on the Islamic Republic "are not working."
is the most irresponsible force in the world, he said, claiming the sactions imposed on the Islamic Republic have not had an effect so far. According to Netanyahu, the regime in Tehran violates every resolution and has no respect for international norms.
He added that Iran's race towards nuclear weapons should concern the US and every other country. Nuclear arms in the hands of the Iranian regime is a cause for great concern to the US and Israel,
Netanyahu and his wife Sarah landed in Cyprus in the morning hours for a one-day visit aimed at boosting cooperation between Jerusalem and Nicosia in the fields of energy, agriculture, health and maritime research.
Netanyahu is the first Israeli leader ever to visit the nearby island nation.
While in Nicosia, Netanyahu will also meet with Opposition Leader Nicos Anastasiades and various government officials.
suggesting Cyprus may allow Israel to station aircraft in its territory, officials said Netanyahu is not expected to raise the issue during his talks with Cypriot leaders.
Past ties between the two nations have been chilly, as Cyprus was wary of Israel's military and trade relations with Turkey,
which does not recognize Cyprus as a sovereign state and occupies its north.
But Israel's relations with Turkey have deteriorated, and Cyprus is looking to cement ties with neighbors as Turkey's influence grows.