Cyprus Mail

Spat over October 1 F16 flyover

A dispute between the main parties over the fact that two Greek F16s took part in the Independence Day celebrations on Monday is totally unnecessary and inexcusable, former House president Yiannakis Omirou said on Wednesday.

Akel had criticised the flyover of the Greek aircraft questioning what message it sent to Turkish Cypriots and the international community from a government that claims it wants to be “a truly independent state”.

The government hit back within a short time saying the party’s own then presidential candidate Stavros Malas had lauded the move when the aircraft participated in last year’s event. It also said the flyover on Monday was purely symbolic.

Omirou, a former defence minister, was not as much concerned that the government and the main opposition party were squabbling, but because the row had side-lined the real problem and that was the fact that Cyprus and Greece had abandoned their 1993 Joint Defence Dogma.

The dogma had included joint military exercises on land, sea and air, with the operational coordination of the two countries and the construction of the necessary infrastructure works in Cyprus for the doctrine to work, he said.

“The aim was to act as a deterrent, and to strengthen the negotiating capacity of the Republic of Cyprus and the Greek Cypriot side and this doctrine was abandoned in the course of time with disastrous consequences on the national strategy,” he said.

The Green Party on Wednesday called the dispute “unhelpful and irrational”. “Of course we all know that engaging in an unrelenting confrontation is a common sport for the two great parties,” it said.
“The result of these micro-political games is to create discord and disorientation.”


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