The National Guard revealed on Tuesday that it signed the first Bilateral Defence Cooperation Programme with the US.

Writing on Twitter, National Guard chief Lieutenant-General Demokritos Zervakis welcomed the agreement.

“Delighted at the signing of our first ever Cyprus-US Bilateral Defence Cooperation Programme. A flourishing and mutually reinforcing relation is steadily expanding. More to follow,” he wrote.

The Cyprus Mail has learned that the signing ceremony took place in Nicosia on December 29. Signing on behalf of the US was US Defence Attaché Colonel Roger Bowman.

A defence ministry spokesman said the agreement involves joint training of armed forces personnel (including special forces), the sharing of military expertise, and joint exercises (including air and naval) held either in Cyprus or in the US or in any third country where the US has an established military presence.

In October last year, the Pentagon announced Cyprus’ membership in the State Partnership Program and the cooperation between the Cyprus National Guard and the United States National Guard.

In the announcement, the Pentagon said the Republic of Cyprus’ National Guard has been paired with the New Jersey National Guard to participate in the National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program.

Washington announced in September that it would be completely lifting the arms embargo on Cyprus, imposed in 1987.