Cyprus – Greece | Announcement of a political body for consultation on defence cooperation
Defence Redefined
Published on 25/03/2023 at 10:55

The activation of a political consultation body on defence cooperation issues was announced by the Greek Minister of National Defence, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, and his Cypriot counterpart, Michalis Georgallas, who was in Athens yesterday, on his first official visit since taking office.

In their joint statements, the two Ministers underlined the determination of the two countries to strengthen bilateral cooperation as well as tripartite cooperation schemes in which the two countries participate. At the same time, an assessment was made of the results of the cooperation between Greece and Cyprus within the framework of the EU, such as for example in the PESCO program, for the results of which satisfaction was expressed from both sides.

Regarding the Cyprus issue, the Cypriot Minister of Defence noted that Turkey, disregarding its obligations towards the Republic of Cyprus and International Law, is threatening, with anachronistic perceptions and maximalist demands, the hopes of resolving the Cyprus issue on the basis of its principles and values of the European Union.

He, however, reiterated the assessment of the President of the Republic of Cyprus that the active involvement of the EU will be a decisive factor in lifting the impasse and restarting talks. At the same time, the Ministers of Defence of Greece and Cyprus emphasized the unwavering determination of the two countries to defend the sovereign rights of the two countries.

On the broader issues, the Cypriot Minister of Defence referred to the excellent defence and military cooperation of the two countries, underlining that Greece and Cyprus are pillars of peace, security, stability, development, and prosperity in the turbulent geopolitical environment of the eastern Mediterranean.

As he said, in the context of the decision of Athens and Nicosia to establish a High Council for Intergovernmental Cooperation, the Ministries of Defence of Greece and Cyprus will proceed with the establishment of a political consultation body, with the aim of holding the first meeting of the two sides as soon as possible on the preparation of specific proposals.

Regarding the tripartite cooperation schemes and the quadripartite initiative with France and Italy, Mr. Giorgallas noted that specific objectives were identified. At the same time, regarding cooperation within the EU, he stated that the particularly high level of cooperation in areas of development of European capabilities was established, through the programs of the permanent structured cooperation PESCO and the European Defence Fund.

As he said, the two countries intend to take advantage of new perspectives that are opening up, such as in areas of joint supply of military equipment, dealing with climate change, and the energy sustainability of the Armed Forces.

Also read: President Nikos Christodoulidis in Athens for his first visit outside Cyprus

Also, there was a particularly productive exchange of views on the defence cooperation that Cyprus and Greece have developed with the US. Cyprus aims to further deepen its cooperation with the USA, especially after the complete lifting of the arms embargo and its imminent inclusion in the State Partnership Program with the National Guard of New Jersey, Mr. Giorgallas emphasized.

For his part, the Greek Minister of National Defence, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, added the hope that the apparent de-escalation in Greek-Turkish relations would continue and be maintained, so as to create prospects for the resumption of dialogue and the resolution of disputes, always within the framework of International Law and good neighborly relations.

Source: CNA

Also read: Christodoulidis – Mitsotakis | Supreme Cooperation Council of Cyprus – Greece




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