British Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon signed an updated programme of bilateral military cooperation with his Greek Cypriot counterpart Christoforos Fokaides, in Nicosia on Friday.
“Fresh opportunities to intensify our partnership are continually opening up…Whether it’s undertaking trilateral training with shared regional partners…Whether it’s assisting you to further develop your leadership in crisis response,” Fallon said.
“Or whether it’s sharing our experiences of conducting a Strategic Defence and Security Review as you develop your own National Security Strategy,” he added.
Fallon, who was invited to Cyprus by the Greek Cypriot Defence Minister, also held talks earlier on today with President Nicos Anastasiades.
In his remarks to reporters after the meeting, Fallon said: “We‘ve had very constructive talks this morning about continuing the defence cooperation programme and extending it in maritime security and aviation security as well.
“And I am now on my way to the Zenon centre to see for myself. Cyprus is playing this larger role now in the security of the Eastern Mediterranean.”
This is the first official visit of a British Defence Secretary to Cyprus, Fokaides said, prior to pledging Cyprus’ commitment to further strengthening cooperation between the two countries.
He also announced that a military attache will be taking office at the British High Commission in London, for the first time.
Britain maintains two sovereign military bases in Cyprus in Akrotiri and Dhekelia.