New Defence Minister Michalis Giorgallas on Friday said his goal is to make the citizens of Cyprus feel safe and secure against any foreign aggression.
He was speaking during the handover ceremony in Nicosia of the Ministry of Defence from his predecessor, Charalambos Petrides.
He also said he was proud and honoured to take over the portfolio of the Defence Ministry which is “of exceptional importance.”
Because, he stressed, it is mandated to defend the national independence, territorial integrity, and sovereign rights of Cyprus – divided since a 1974 invasion by Turkey.
Addressing the families of young men serving in the National Guard he told them that “their children from today are also my children.”
“My goal is for our fellow citizens to feel safe and secure. To feel that our National Guard is reliable and strong against any foreign aggression,” he said.
“My primary objective is the need to increase and strengthen the deterrent force, fighting capacity and readiness of the National Guard with the supply of new modern weapon systems,” he added.
As for Petrides, he said that in the last two and a half years that he had served as Minister he remained faithful to what his conscience dictated.
And that the main objective was the orderly operation, modernisation and upgrading of the National Guard.
But with always keeping in mind the supreme task of safeguarding the territorial integrity and sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus.