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Cyprus says EU naval presence needed in East Med

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Cyprus Defence Minister Savvas Angelides stressed to his European counterparts the need for an EU naval presence in the region due to Turkey’s destabilising activity in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The briefing took place during a teleconference of EU Defence Ministers on Tuesday.

They discussed ways of increasing EU involvement at an operational level as well as defensive initiatives and structures to reach the desired level of ambition of the Joint Defence and Security Policy.

According to a Defence Ministry statement, during his intervention, Angelides referred to the enhancement of the EU operational commitment and said Cyprus, despite its small size and the continuing Turkish threats, aims at increasing its contribution to EU missions and operations.

Angelides also referred to the need for the overall recognition of threats with a view to draft a Strategic Compass and adopt better choices with regard to the EU Treaty provisions for a mutual contribution that constitute the core of European solidarity.

The Defence Minister also participated in a meeting of the European Defence Agency Steering Board which discussed the role of the Agency in developing the defence capabilities during disruptive challenges like COVID-19.