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Defence minister vows to strengthen Cyprus’ deterrence capability

defence minister palmas national guard
Defence Minister Palmas at the national guard honour day ceremony in Kornos, Larnaca

Defence Minister Vasilis Palmas announced on Friday that his ministry is diligently working to enhance Cyprus’ deterrence capability within the national guard.

“We are working methodically and quietly in cooperation with the command of the national guard to increase mission readiness and upgrade the deterrence capability and strength of the national guard,” he said.

Palmas was speaking to national guard veterans during the national guard honour day ceremony in Kornos, Larnaca.

“Today, sixty years after its establishment and with the Turkish occupation still in place, the national guard has undertaken a multifaceted mission, continuing to maintain and strengthen its role as the main deterrent force against any threat,” he said.

He added that through the agreements the ministry makes with friendly countries, they are constantly upgrading the long-standing role as a factor of stability and security in the turbulent geopolitical environment of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, “at a time of rapid and critical changes and developments”.

Palmas said that since the establishment of the Cypriot army, which was formed in accordance with the 1960 constitution, as well as the national guard four years later, the essential strength of the army and the core of its development and progress has been its human resources.

“The people, who through their dedication, skills and willingness to give selflessly, in times of difficulty and complexity, defined efficiency, brought innovation, inspired creativity and contributed to the progress and upgrading of the troops,” he added.

He also said that each member represented a unique addition to the whole structure and “created an invaluable set of principles, values and ambitions that guide the national guard to this day, in its effort to carry out its mission and achieve its goals”.

Referring to the coup of July 15 and the Turkish invasion of 1974, Palmas said that “despite the objective difficulties and the significant shortages of arms, materials and means, the vast majority of the national guard personnel, honouring the oath they took, used every ounce of strength they had to protect Cyprus and repel Attila’s obviously stronger forces”.

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