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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Cyprus and Israel to cooperate on welfare ]

Cyprus and Israel to cooperate on welfare

Patrick Dewhurst

CYPRUS and Israel yesterday signed a joint declaration on social protection and integration.

Labour Minister Sotiroulla Charalambous and the Israeli Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog, who arrived for a two-day official visit yesterday, signed the declaration which provides for cooperation on social protection and integration issues, focusing on vulnerable population groups.

The two countries intend to develop formal channels of communication between their welfare ministries. They will also share information through exchange visits, seminars, personnel training and implementation of specific programmes. They also intend to share information on social security issues.

Charalambous said: "This is the first time that an Israeli Minister has paid an official visit to our Ministry and this indicates and confirms the willingness of our countries and ministries to work towards the upgrading of our relations.”

She added that social welfare, and people with disabilities were high priorities.

"We have discussed specific areas where we have common interests, such as social security, the sector of persons with disabilities and the social welfare sector."

Herzog said that there were many more areas of common interest and potential cooperation, and he invited Charalambous to visit Israel to discuss these further.

After the meeting, he had lunch with President Demetris Christofias.

Today he will conclude his trip with meetings with Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Labour and Social Insurance Andreas Fakontis and later on with Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Crime and on the Fight Against Drugs and Addictive Substances Yiannakis Thoma.

Herzog also described his family's ties with Cyprus. He said that his grandfather, Rabbi Isaac Herzog, was one of the first investors in Cyprus in the 1930s and that many Jews found shelter in Cyprus during the Second World War.

The Herzog family were prominent in the foundation of the Israeli state and in politics since. His grandfather was chief Rabbi of Ireland until 1936, when he became Chief Rabbi of Palestine and then Israel after 1948. His son, Chaim Herzog, was an Israeli Army General and President of Israel from 1983 to 1993.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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