Saudi opens new window for defence ties

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A visit of Saudi Arabia’s Armed Forces chief to Cyprus opens a “new window of cooperation” between the two countries, Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides said.

President Nicos Anastasiades received on Wednesday the Saudi Chief of Armed Forces Fayyad bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili at the Presidential Palace.

Petrides said the visit strengthened defence ties between Saudi Arabia, Cyprus and the National Guard.

“There is a memorandum of cooperation, which we will sign, hopefully, very soon, after the agreement with the United Arab Emirates; we are now moving forward with this new cooperation which is taking shape.”

Cyprus National Guard Chief Lieutenant General Dimokritos Zervakis and Saudi Chief of Staff General explored cooperation between the Armed Forces of the two countries.

Accompanied by a military delegation, Al-Ruwaili carried out an official visit to Cyprus on February 1 -2 at the invitation of his Cypriot counterpart.

Al-Ruwaili was also briefed on the mission, operational capacity and the challenges facing the National Guard.

The Cypriot Ministry of Defence said Zervakis and Al Ruwaili discussed the state of play in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf and issues associated with security and stability in the wider region.

The two military chiefs also discussed the common challenges facing the two countries and explored cooperation between the Armed Forces of Cyprus and Saudi Arabia.

The visit lies within the National Guard’s network of international collaborations with other armed forces of friendly countries to strengthen dialogue over security and stability in the region.