Greece and Cyprus upgrade defence cooperation

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Greece Defence Minister Nikos Pagiotopoulos and his Cypriot counterpart Savvas Angelides held discussions on improving their defence cooperation involving the Chiefs of Staff of the Greek and Cyprus armed forces.

Angelides said the discussions were part of the continuous communication between Greece’s and Cyprus’ Defence Ministries, in the context of the constant and upgraded relationship between the two countries.

“We had the opportunity to discuss the progress made as regards a series of issues of common interest, as well as bilateral cooperation on regional security, operational programs and military exercises”, Angelides said.

Asked about Turkey’s actions in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Angelides accused Turkey implementing the “law of the jungle” by blatantly violating the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus.

He said Cyprus wants to promote stability in the Eastern Mediterranean through regional cooperation.

Angelides argued that diplomatic action taken by Cyprus was necessary and in the right direction while hoping such initiatives will finally end Turkey’s illegal activity and safeguard the Republic’s sovereign rights.

On the presence of Turkish drillship Yavuz in the Cyprus waters, Angelides said it constitutes a blatant violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic, irrespective of whether it has started to drill in block 8 or not.

Greek Defence Minister Pagiotopoulos underlined the importance of upgrading the defence cooperation between Cyprus and Greece, which was the main topic of discussion during the 6th Intergovernmental Defence Council in Athens.

“Coordination and joint action between the Greek and the Cypriot Armed Forces is reinforced while dealing with important issues of defence cooperation is accelerated, by reducing the negative effects of bureaucracy.”