Greek Defence Minister Nikos Pagiotopoulos and his Cypriot counterpart Savvas Angelides held discussions on issues of defence cooperation, during the 6th Intergovernmental Defense Council of Greece and Cyprus, which convened today in Athens, with the participation of the Chiefs of Staff of the Greek and Cypriot armed forces.
In his statements, Minister Angelides said that the Council’s discussions are part of the continuous communication between Greece’s and Cyprus’ Defence Ministries, in the context of the constant, stable and upgraded relationship between the two countries.
“The Council’s discussions are part of the continuous communication between Greece’s and Cyprus’ Defence Ministries.”
“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, adding that the prospect of participating in European research and innovation programs was also included of the Council’s agenda.
Asked by the Press about Turkey’s provocative actions in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Angelides stressed that Turkey implements the law of the jungle, by blatantly violating the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus.
“The Republic of Cyprus wants to promote stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
In direct contrast, the Republic of Cyprus wants to promote stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, Angelides stressed, while highlighting the importance of Cyprus’ trilateral cooperation with regional states.
As regards the presence of the French Navy in Cyprus, Angelides said that it is Cyprus’ obligation to call for the necessary assistance of other European states.
Nevertheless, Cypriot Minister of Defence expressed the view that the French Navy’s presence is not aiming at militarizing the region, but rather at sending the concrete message that Cyprus must freely exercise its sovereign rights.
On the issue of Cyprus’ diplomatic action against Turkey’s illegal actions in Cyprus’ EEZ, Angelides said that Nicosia is not satisfied by the outcome, as Turkish violations are being continued. He stressed, however, that all the diplomatic action taken by the Republic of Cyprus was necessary and in the right direction while expressing the hope that these initiatives will finally lead at the ending the Turkish illegal actions and safeguarding Cyprus’ sovereign rights.
“Diplomatic action taken by the Republic of Cyprus was necessary and in the right direction.”
As regards the presence of the Turkish drillship Yavuz in Cyprus’ EEZ, Angelides said that it constitutes a blatant violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, irrespective of whether it has started to drill in the Block 8 or not.
On his part, Greek Defence Minister Nikos 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.
“Coordination and joint action between the Greek and the Cypriot Armed Forces are reinforced while dealing with important issues of defence cooperation is accelerated, by reducing the negative effects of bureaucracy”, Panagiotopoulos said.