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The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nikos Christodoulidis, visited the Katsani camp in Stavrovouni, headquarters of the 33rd Commando Squadron, and made new important statements regarding the increase in the strength of the National Guard.
The new Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulidis stated that “as from the first days of our government, our contact both generally with the National Guard and with all units such as the 33rd Commando Squadron will be continuous”.
The President of the Cypriot Republic was accompanied by the Minister of Defense Mr. Michalis Giorgallas, the Chief of the National Guard, Lieutenant General Dimokritos Zervakis, the Deputy Government Representative Mrs. Doxa Komodromou and other officials.
The Cypriot President in parts of his statements said:
“We are a country under occupation. As long as there is an occupation in our homeland, we must strengthen our deterrent power.
At the same time, however, we are a member state of the EU and we welcome the fact that in recent years the EU has taken bold steps in the pillar of Defense and Security by developing its own infrastructure in the specific sectors, and the Republic of Cyprus together with other states , it’s Greece, France, we will be at the core of this effort because we really believe that the EU should strengthen itself in this area.
After all, I was Secretary of State and I know that without a strong deterrent, without a strong defense, foreign policy discourse is clearly limited.
The recent US decision to completely lift the US embargo is also particularly important, a decision that we will take advantage of, a decision that also reflects the level of our relations with the US, the role we are trying to play in the region.
You know very well that one of the main pillars of our cooperation with the states of the region, whether at the tripartite or multilateral level, is also based on the exercises that take place, it is also based on the field of Defense and Security. And always within the framework of strengthening the deterrent power of the Republic of Cyprus”.
Asked about the unified defense doctrine, the President of the Republic said that “if we all remember when the unified defense doctrine began, I must say based on the information I have, both from the Minister of Defense and the Chief of the National Guard that important steps have been taken since then. Operationally, we are clearly in a better position than we were when the unified defense doctrine was first announced and for as long as it was implemented.
What I would like to mention is the clear political will on our part to strengthen even more the cooperation that exists with the Greek Government and not only, but also with other states because there is cooperation such as with France, the neighboring states, there is from on our part, this political will and I believe that the next important step we must take is to see these partnerships through the framework of our participation in the EU as a member state, within the framework of European Defense and Security which in recent years years, the most important steps have been taken”.
Asked if the implementation of the equipment program will continue, the President of Cyprus stated that “it will continue. In our political program it is noted that 2% of the country’s GDP will be used for the equipment programs of the Republic of Cyprus always within the framework of strengthening the deterrent power of our country”.