To protect itself from increased Turkish provocations and asymmetric threats, Cyprus has developed defence and security cooperation, including partnerships with the UK and the US military, said Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides.
Addressing the annual general assembly of the Cyprus Army Officers Association, he said they are the backbone of the National Guard and entrusted with demanding tasks which require high-level training, mental resilience, and dedication.
He said the National Guard depends on the capabilities and dedication of its staff and that its high standards are a strong factor in averting any threat.
Petrides said that the Defence Ministry had set goals to strengthen the country’s deterrent capabilities.
“With steady steps, we are implementing the ministry’s armament programme, and we are continuing to modernise and upgrade the force’s deterrent capability against threats from the ground, sea and air.
He said the ministry’s 2023 budget “is at the highest spending level in the last 20 years”.
“To protect ourselves from the continued increased Turkish threats and emerging asymmetric threats, we have developed bilateral and trilateral cooperation in the field of defence and security with 16 regional and European countries as well as the UK and the US.
“And cooperation with Greece is at the highest possible level”.
He described as “very significant” the defence cooperation with Greece, Italy and France, which has produced results to define the east Mediterranean as a region of interest to the EU.