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Welcome Speech by the Chief of Police Mr Zacharias Chrysostomou at the visit of former Hihg Ranking Members of Israel Police, 23rd of November, 2016 - 27/01/2017
Your Excellency,

General Secretary of IPA – Israel Section, Mr. Eran

Dear guests, former colleagues of the Israel Police,

Members of the International Police Association,

Acting President of the IPA – Cyprus Section

Shalom Haverim Yekarim Bruhim Haba Im le Kafrisin (Γεια σας αγαπητοί φίλοι, καλωσορίσατε στην Κύπρο)

It is a special joy for me to welcome you to our island, Cyprus. Indeed it is a pleasure to have the opportunity as Chief of Police, to meet and host former prominent colleagues from Israel, as the bonds between our countries are historical and strong, having been further enhanced in recent years.

Moreover, your visit certainly affirms the maxim ‘once a policeman, always a policeman’. I strongly believe that the continuation of the active involvement in society by police members, after their retirement, fulfils its own substantial role in the field of security, which can be as significant as the obviously crucial contribution of serving members.
In the past, I had the pleasure and honour to accompany the former Chief of Cyprus Police on a formal visit to Israel and I must stress that I was truly impressed by the structure, organisation and operation of Israel police, especially with regards to security issues.

I would also like to take the opportunity today to repeat my satisfaction about the high level of cooperation between the Cyprus Police and Israel Police which started on an organized and steady basis, more than 20 years ago and I am glad to say, that it is increasingly expanding.

Throughout the years a number of agreements between our services have been made regarding counter terrorism, the combating of drug trafficking, cybercrime and other types of serious crime. Furthermore, our cooperation includes study visits, training opportunities, as well as information exchange.
Besides, the recent formal visit by the Deputy Commissioner Mr. Dvir and a delegation of Israel Police here, following our invitation, was especially useful and constructive. This visit, which focused on issues of security including terrorism, organised crime and cybercrime contributed further towards upgrading and strengthening our cooperation.

This longstanding and fully constructive, cooperation has led to the detection of various serious cases on organised crime as well as terrorism.

I would like to assure you that the Cyprus Police remains deeply committed towards further enhancing our cooperation with Israeli Police, aiming at the fulfillment of our common goal of enhancing security, peace and stability in our countries and region.

The people of Israel, throughout their very long history over the centuries, have suffered immensely, including the atrocities of the holocaust. For two millennia, scattered over the five continents of the world, Jewish people fought very hard and managed to retain their identity. Their longing and hope for their own homeland gave them the strength to endure the long suffering and led them to the land of their ancestors and the establishment of the state of Israel, a state of which I am certain you are very proud. The creation of this state was indeed the best memorial for those who lost their lives throughout your long history fighting for its establishment, and especially for those who were brutally killed during World War II, merely because they were Jews.

The people of Cyprus, as evidenced by records of the time, supported the thousands of Jews who passed from Cyprus during these truly very difficult early stages of the establishment process for the new state. And this obviously could not have been any different, since the people of our island too, have lived through and endured the brutality of many occupying forces throughout our very long history. Even today, nearly 40% of the northern part of our country is under the occupation of Turkish troops, while the memories of the Turkish invasion of 1974 are still fresh in our minds.

Concluding, I would like to congratulate once again the International Police Association, because through the organisation of activities such as your visit, it contributes to the fulfilment of the aims of the Association; the enhancement of friendship, cooperation and solidarity. Finally, I would like to wish you a pleasant stay on our island.

Thank you. /Toda Raba

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