Cyprus Mail

Akel criticises Agapinor-2022 as Cyprus-Israel exercise ends


The large-scale military exercise Agapinor-2022 involving Cyprus’ national guard and the armed forces of Israel, was completed on Thursday, the defence ministry said in a statement.

The exercise started on May 29 and was carried out in several locations of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus by water, land and air.

It was part of the agreed bilateral defence cooperation programme of the Republic with Israel, the ministry said, “highlighting the excellent relations between the two countries in recent years in the field of defence and security.”

The purpose of the exercise was to enhance the interoperability of the armed forces of the two countries, to increase their operational capabilities through joint co-training and exchange of experience, as well as to provide tangible evidence of good neighbourly relations between the two countries.

It is also added that the direction and coordination of the exercise was conducted by the General Staff of the National Guard in cooperation with the Israeli General Staff, with the development of a single Operations Centre and the exchange of liaisons between the two staffs at various levels of command.

At the same time as Agapinor, 70 members of the National Guard took part in an exercise in Israel where a simulated combat situation was staged in a residential area.

Following the exercise, main opposition Akel released a statement calling it “a dangerous development for Cyprus.”

“Territories and cities of our country cannot be turned into training grounds for any foreign armies,” Akel said.

“On top of that, Cyprus should avoid cooperating with a foreign army with a history of occupation, colonisation, war crimes and violation of international laws, all of which remind us of the Turkish occupation in the island.”

Akel also refuted the notion that Cyprus’ availability to host international military exercises would be reciprocated with support against Turkey.

“Neither the militarisation of our regional partnerships, nor the transformation of our National Guard into supporting military personnel of the Israeli army serve the interests and security of our country and our people,” the statement concluded.

On Wednesday, the Cyprus foreign ministry issued a statement stressing that the exercise aimed to boost the defence readiness of the national guard.

“The exercise is based on hypothetical scenarios and is not directed against any other country in the region,” it said.

And it added: “The defence capabilities of Cyprus are strictly defensive as it faces a constant threat on its territory from the Turkish occupation forces and do not constitute a threat for our partners in the region.”

Throughout the duration of the Agapinor 2022 exercise, locals residing at a close distance from where it was carried out repeatedly complained about the noise produced by military vehicles and artillery.


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