Cyprus will become a member of the State Partnership Programme (SPP), putting into effect its cooperation with the National Guard of New Jersey on a number of issues, Defence Minister Michalis Giorgallas said on Sunday, adding that in the context of this cooperation, Cyprus will gain experience, know-how, and information about technologically upgraded weapon systems.
In his statements and responding to a media question, the minister expressed his satisfaction with the content of and the climate that prevailed in his consultations with the Minister of National Defence of Greece and the Chief of Hellenic National Defence General Staff during his recent visit to Athens.
He added: “Greece and Cyprus are coordinating, moving forward and getting organized to face common threats”.
To this end, he said that it was agreed to create a joint body for consultations and coordination between the two countries on defence issues.
He noted that, in the coming weeks, the first meeting of the two ministries’ staff will take place to draw up the agenda with common issues of interest, which will be discussed at ministerial level.
The first issue, he said, was the agreement signed last Monday, which gives the right to the 17 countries that signed the agreement to obtain military material through joint procurement.
Giorgallas said Nicosia and Athens will look into how to implement and utilise this agreement and how they can jointly obtain military equipment supplies.
The second issue, he said, was the upgraded relationship that Greece and Cyprus have with the USA.
He added that the cooperation with the US would take “a more concrete form” later in the day, noting that, Cyprus will sign its inclusion in the SPP, effectively implementing cooperation on a number of issues with the National Guard of New Jersey which, as he noted, is Senator Robert Menendez’s home state.
“In the context of this cooperation, Cyprus will draw experiences, know-how and even information regarding technologically upgraded weapon systems”, he said.
As he noted, his ministry will welcome on March 30 a large delegation from New Jersey, while a Cypriot delegation will also visit the state.
Giorgallas also noted that, the 3+1 cooperation – Greece, Cyprus, Israel plus the USA – was now a structured cooperation which is being implemented with constantly new objectives that are added beyond the exercises or trainings.