Cookies management by TermsFeed Cookie Consent
Recent News

Press Releases

01-02-2023 15:40

Statement of the Minister of Defence, Mr Charalambos Petrides, following his meeting with his Slovenian counterpart

Dear Marjan,

Many thanks for accepting my invitation to pay a visit to Cyprus.

It is a distinct honour to welcome you as well as the Slovenian Chief of Defence and your delegation.

At the outset, let me state that this visit builds upon the momentum for enhancing our bilateral relations and cooperation. Last year the President of the Republic of Slovenia visited our country reaffirming our long standing and traditional bond of friendship, cooperation and people to people ties.

Cyprus and Slovenia are likeminded and, in many ways, similar countries. We proudly share our joined EU accession in 2004 and we are also part of the EU MED 9 Group.

Today we discussed a wide array of issues. We had a very constructive, forward-looking exchange of views on a number of issues of mutual interest ranging from our bilateral defence cooperation to pertinent European and regional security issues.

A key deliverable is of course the signing of a Bilateral Agreement of Defence cooperation. This agreement will pave the way for fostering a close defence and military cooperation between our Ministries and Armed Forces. It comes at a time when European cooperation in the area of defence and security is more evident and necessary for combatting emerging threats and challenges.

Defence is an important pillar for any country’s national security. Especially nowadays, in an era of geopolitical turmoil and upheaval, following Russian invasion to Ukraine, there is a strong shift in investing more in Defence.

Our two countries, are devoted to our shared and common European path of cooperation, security and prosperity.

We also had the chance to discuss the various European defence initiatives, especially following the adoption of the Strategic Compass and ways for harnessing opportunities for cooperation through PESCO and EDF projects.

On the Cyprus issue, I want to reiterate our gratitude for Slovenia’s support, based on positions of principle in the EU and other international fora. I had the chance to inform my counterpart about the current security situation in Cyprus.

More specifically, I also had the change to inform my dear colleague and his team, about the security situation in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean and Turkey’s hybrid warfare activities, notably through the instrumentalisation of illegal migration on the island and the region.

Over the past two years, Turkey is pursuing a revisionist and militarized foreign policy, combined with a hostile and aggressive rhetoric of Turkish officials which threatens stability and security in Cyprus and in the region in general.

The Republic of Cyprus will continue its extrovert defence policy of building closer bilateral and multilateral partnerships on the basis of the respect of International Law and the UNs convention of the Law of the Sea.

In closing, I want to once more express my sincere thanks to Minister Šarec for his visit and our enriching exchange of views.