As long as Cyprus remains under occupation, the government will continue to enhance its military strength and deterrent capability, Defence Minister Michalis Giorgallas said on Tuesday.

He was addressing a swearing-in ceremony of students heading to military schools in Greece.

The minister said that “as long as Cyprus remains under occupation and in danger, we will continue to enhance our military strength and reinforce our deterrent capability”.

He further pledged determination to “fight and defend everything at risk and claim what rightfully belongs to us”.

The National Guard, he said, is aiming to become a modern and reliable army with high capabilities, complete sufficiency, and the ability to secure the defence and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. At the same time, it is modernising, strengthening, upgrading and improving the force.

Addressing the students, he said that in a few years, they will be called upon to play a significant role in the security of their country. “In this effort, rest assured that the political and military leadership will always stand by your side,” he added.