Cyprus to bolster military strength

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Defence Minister Michalis Giorgallas said the government will continue to boost its military strength and deterrent capability as long as Cyprus remains under Turkish occupation.

He addressed a swearing-in ceremony of new students at Greece’s top military educational institutions.

The minister said: “As long as Cyprus remains under occupation and in danger, we will continue to enhance our military strength and reinforce our deterrent capability”.

He further pledged determination to “fight and defend everything at risk and claim what rightfully belongs to us”.

Giorgallas said the National Guard aims to become a modern and reliable army with high capabilities, complete sufficiency, and the ability to secure the defence and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus.

“At the same time, it is modernising, strengthening, upgrading and improving the force.”

Addressing the students, he said that in a few years, they will be called upon to play a significant role in their country’s security.

“In this effort, rest assured that the political and military leadership will always stand by your side,” he added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third, maintaining over 30,000 troops.

Nicosia has bolstered regional defence alliances with Greece, Israel, France and Egypt, while the US has lifted a decades-long arms embargo on selling weapons to Cyprus.