The Cyprus National Guard is set to be supplied with personal protective equipment from Israel, under an agreement signed in Nicosia on Wednesday.
The same PPE is used by the armed forces of Israel and the UK, the defence ministry said after the agreement was signed by its permanent secretary Andreas Louka and director of the International Defence Cooperation Directorate of Israel’s Ministry of Defence brigadier Yair Kulas.
Supplies will first cover the needs of active forces, and at a later stage of reservists, it added.
The main contractors of the programme are the companies Source Vagabond and Marom Dolphin, both based in Israel and with extensive experience in the design and manufacture of such equipment.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides noted that defence cooperation between Cyprus and Israel continues to grow and expand.
“We are proud that this cooperation is in tandem with our excellent bilateral relations and reflects how neighbouring countries should work for promoting peace and stability,” he said.
The signing of the intergovernmental agreement for the supply of Personal Protective Equipment and Load Carriage System for the Armed Forces of the Republic of Cyprus follows another important project signed last year regarding the surveillance and intelligence system for monitoring the ceasefire line, he added.
Despite the challenging international economic conditions, Cyprus is steadfastly implementing its defence and armaments programme in order to be a reliable and robust defensive and deterrent force, Petrides said.
“The need to replace and upgrade the Military Personal Protective Equipment and Load Carriage System was deemed necessary. It is noted that this is the first time the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Cyprus proceeds with a widespread supply of integrated, modern personal protective equipment and a Load Carriage System, for the National Guard,” he added.
Cyprus and Israel maintain identical views and positions on the security of the Eastern Mediterranean based on international law, the minister added.
“The relations between our two countries extend beyond common interests and we shall work to further strengthen, expand and deepen our defence cooperation,” he concluded.