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National Guard should be at highest readiness as long as occupation continues

ΥΠΟΥΡΓΟΣ ΑΜΥΝΑΣ ΤΕΛΕΤΗ ΑΠΟΝΟΜΗΣ ΜΑΥΡΟΥ ΜΠΕΡΕ

As long as Cyprus remains under occupation and Turkey continues with new threats, the National Guard must remain at the highest readiness and act as the main force of deterrence and protection of national sovereignty, Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides said on Friday.

Addressing a ceremony during which he presented the black berets to newly recruited soldiers in Kornos, the minister congratulated them for completing their demanding and difficult training and urged them to wear their black berets with pride.

He said that the National Guard continues to work to upgrade and strengthen the force and to educate and train the personnel.

The Defence Minister said Cyprus is going through a particularly difficult time with challenges and deadlock intensifying since Turkey is demanding a two-state solution in parallel with illegal intervention in the island’s exclusive economic zone and at the same time, it continues with illegal action in the fenced-off town of Varosha.

In the face of all these illegal acts and the constant threats, we must remain united and steady in our positions, which stem from international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions, the minister added.

We are working intensively and with dedication for a viable and fair solution to the Cyprus issue which will create a functional state based on EU principles and values. As long as our homeland remains under occupation “and Turkey threatens with new fait accompli, the National Guard ought to and should be at the highest level of readiness, as the main force of deterrence and protection of our statehood and national sovereignty,” he said.

On his part, Health Minister Michalis Hadzipantelas who also served at the same camp from 1992-1994, said that the black berets should be proud as Cyprus’ freedom depends on them. He also said the greatest weapon for the National Guard is good health therefore he urged all those who have not been vaccinated against Covid -19 to go ahead and do so “so we can have the best weapon to fight the enemy”, he concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island`s northern third. Numerous rounds of talks under UN aegis to reunite the island under a federal roof failed to yield results.

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