Leaders of Cyprus, Greece, Israel meet to boost cooperation

The leaders of Cyprus, Greece and Israel are meeting in the Cypriot capital with the aim of strengthening cooperation and bolstering stability in a region wracked by conflict.

Thursday's talks are the first tripartite summit between Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Discussions will cover energy matters including newly found offshore gas reserves as well as tourism. The leaders will also sign a cooperation agreement on water resources.

The summit echoes a similar template involving the leaders from Israel, Egypt and Cyprus that is designed to boost cooperation.

Cypriot government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides hailed the summit as setting a new standard of regional cooperation, saying that other European Union and Middle eastern countries have shown interest in participating in similar meetings.