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Cyprus has become a pillar of stability in the region, Defence Minister says

Cyprus has become a pillar of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, Defence Minister Savvas Angelides has said.

Speaking before the House Committee on Financial and Budgetary Affairs about the budget of his Ministry, Angelides referred to the bilateral and trilateral partnerships that Cyprus has been developing in the past years with other countries and also said that the Ministry will appoint a military attaché in Washington.

Referring to the strengthening of Cyprus’ relations with other countries in the defence cooperation sector, he said that it is widely accepted that Cyprus has become a pillar of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“We have bilateral and trilateral partnerships and have drastically strengthened our relations with countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, the EU and third countries,” he said.

Angelides pointed out that the ultimate aim is to “preserve the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus”.

He also spoke about the upgrading of Cyprus’ relations with the US, noting that they are being reinforced by placing a military attaché in Washington.

Cyprus’ tripartite cooperation with Greece and Israel and Greece and Egypt is being upgraded continuously,  he said, while referring to the bilateral level, he said that Cyprus has developed partnerships in the field of security and defence with important countries, such as the UK, France, the Netherlands, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon.

Cooperation with Greece, he said, is on a daily basis, while Nicosia will strengthen its cooperation with Germany as well.

He explained that the collaborations include training and education, search and rescue, management of humanitarian crises, addressing asymmetric threats, exchange of information and cooperation in the field of energy security as well as exercises in those fields.

Concluding, he expressed Cyprus’ support towards the EU common defence policy and military autonomy with Cyprus’ active participation in European Security Agency and PESCO’s programmes (Permanent Structured Cooperation).

The Ministry`s budget for 2019 provides for expenditure of €358.8 million, increased by €7 million compared to 2018.

(Cyprus News Agency)

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