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20-09-2022 08:57

Remarks by the Minister of Defence, Mr Charalambos Petrides, on the occasion of the signing of Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement

Thank you for hosting us aboard US Naval Ship Yuma, to celebrate the friendship between Cyprus and the United States, and our thriving defence and security cooperation.

Allow me to commence my brief remarks, by referring to the announcement by the US Secretary of State, concerning the lifting of the ITAR restrictions on Cyprus. 

We consider this development as a turning point in our bilateral defence relations, which allows the forging of even closer cooperation between our two countries; that will deepen our security relationship, for the benefit of regional stability and prosperity.

This historic decision will expand our bilateral trade and commerce, and allow our armed forces to increase their operational capabilities, while ensuring the key goal of interoperability with allies and partners.

Last June I visited Washington DC. During my visit, I reiterated my Government’s commitment to continue to work closely with the Government of the United States of America to further enhance defence cooperation.

Today’s ceremony, is a testimony to that joint commitment. I am here to mark and celebrate with you, the signing of the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA).

ACSA is a mutually beneficial agreement that will facilitate US presence in the region and make the process of accessing facilities and receiving logistical support, more effective. It will pave the way for our armed forces to exchange logistics and services, and support the deployment of US forces in the Eastern Mediterranean.

It will enable ships such as USNS Yuma to make port calls in Cyprus more frequently, with the knowledge and assurance that the necessary logistical support and services will be provided in a seamless way.

Please allow me to briefly touch upon another element that of Cyprus’s participation in the International Military Education and Training Program (IMET).

The opportunity for interaction and cooperation between the armed forces of Cyprus and the United States, for forging closer personal ties while also extending the knowledge and experience of our officers through IMET, is invaluable. I am glad that a number of our officers who have attended IMET courses, at the prestigious National Defence University, which I had the privilege to visit in June, are here with us tonight.

Our bilateral cooperation is at a historic high. We will continue our work to further deepen and enhance our bilateral defence cooperation. In Cyprus you have a reliable partner.

Before closing, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Ambassador Garber and her Staff at the US Embassy in Lefkosia, and a special thanks to the Defence Attaché and his team, for the valuable support and cooperation given to our staff and officers.

I would also like to thank you for the gracious hospitality aboard USNS Yuma.

Thank you.