Greek Defence Minister Nikos Dendias: “Cyprus is not far away” – “Interoperability of Armed Forces”

The Greek Minister of National Defence, Mr. Nikos Dendias, accompanied by the Chief of the General Staff, General Konstantinos Floros visited Cyprus and held a series of meetings with Cypriot officials to strengthen defence cooperation and interoperability of the Hellenic and Cypriot Armed Forces. The visit took place on July 6, 2023 and contained clear messages for Turkey.

The Minister of Defence Nikos Dendias began the day with a visit to the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, where he was received by the Cypriot President, Mr. Nikos Christodoulides. The meeting underlined the strong commitment of both countries to deepen their bilateral relations and defence cooperation.

After the meeting, the Minister of Defence Nikos Dendias went to the Cypriot Ministry of Defence, where he had discussions with his Cypriot counterpart Mr. Michael Yiorgallas. The meeting was attended by the Chief of the General Staff, Major General Konstantinos Floros and the Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Demokritos Zervakis, along with delegations from both countries. Discussions focused on concrete and practical steps to be taken to enhance the interoperability of Greek (as a nation) Armed Forces.

Subsequently, joint statements were made by the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Cyprus Michael Giorgallas and Nikos Dendias, stressing the commitment to strengthen coordination not only at bilateral level but also within the framework of the European Union. Both ministers stressed the importance of trilateral and quadrilateral partnerships with other friendly countries, stressing that such partnerships are not directed against any nation, but promote regional stability and security.

During his visit, Minister Dendias also paid tribute to the “Mound of Macedonitissa” and the “Prisoners’ Memorials” by laying wreaths.

The visit continued as Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Konstantinos Floros, visited the camp of the Hellenic Force of Cyprus (ELDYK). He participated in a memorial service to honour those who lost their lives in the line of duty and laid a wreath at the ELDYK Memorial. The Minister was briefed on the mission, operational capability and readiness of ELDYK and also inspected the facilities. He addressed the personnel, expressing his appreciation for their dedication and commitment.

In his joint statements, the Minister confirmed Greece’s full support for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem. He stressed that the solution should be based on the UN Security Council resolutions.

In his Message to Turkey he said in his statements:

“In this context, we continue and will always continue our full support for the achievement of a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.

A solution based on the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, a solution of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, compatible of course with the European acquis, this great framework of values, the proudest in the history of the planet, I dare say, to which both countries belong.

And I would like to recall our long-standing position that for us there is no two-state solution. We are and will be the Republic of Cyprus’s supporters in the effort to avoid a fait accompli. I myself have repeatedly said that for us Cyprus is not far away.”

The visit of Nikos Dendias as the Minister of Defence to Cyprus, beyond its formal function, marks the ongoing commitment of Greece and Cyprus to strengthen their defence cooperation and to work collectively to maintain stability, security and peace in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Very importantly, the area of interoperability of the armed forces was mentioned by the two Greek Defence Ministers.

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