The National Guard needs to be ready at all times to avoid another fait accompli, Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides said on Tuesday addressing the new intake of military school students at the Ilias Papakyriakou army camp in Nicosia.
The minister’s comments came a day after belligerent statements were launched by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan against Greece, threatening with an “invasion [against Greek islands] at night.”
Petrides also stressed the obligation to upgrade the National Guard’s operational capabilities.
“The National Guard’s personnel are the greatest force multiplier and therefore our main concern is the continuous education and training of its members so that they are able to successfully respond in a modern operational environment,” the minister said.
Congratulating them for their choice and for securing a position to study at a military school, the minister welcomed the students into the big military family whose mission is to “defend the independence and territorial integrity of our country”.
In reference to the Cyprus problem, he said that 48 years after the summer of 74 and despite efforts to reach a fair solution, restore peace and reunify the country, occupying Turkey is as intransigent as ever.
“[Turkey] has intensified its illegal actions and violations in Greece and Cyprus with expansionary visions in the context of implementing its revisionist policy,” he said.
The minister further noted that Turkey now refuses to come to the negotiating table on the basis of what has been agreed so far and instead promotes the discussion of an agreement on the basis of a two-state solution and equal sovereignty.
“We are not going to accept talks outside the framework set by the UN, defined by Resolutions and Summit Agreements and outside the parameters, principles and values of the EU,” the minister added.
In conclusion, he said that there is no other way than to continue claiming our rights until the holy day of reunification comes.
“We are obliged to be ready and to proceed with the upgrading of the National Guard’s operational capabilities in countering a new fait accompli,” the minister concluded.
Turkey’s vice president Fuat Oktay responding to a CNN Turk’s journalist question as to whether Turkey is about conduct an operation against Greece said that “our president has sent a message to Greece and to the world. If you enter a game against Turkey, you should consider it twice. Everyone must watch their step before acting.”