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12-12-2023 15:17

Statement by the Minister of Defence, Mr Michalis Giorgallas, on the occasion of the visit of his Armenian counterpart to Cyprus

Dear Suren,

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

It is a distinct honour to welcome you, as well as your delegation.

At the outset, let me state that this visit builds upon our long-standing bilateral defence and security cooperation. 

It reaffirms the traditional bonds of friendship, trust, mutual respect, and brotherly, people-to-people ties between Cyprus and Armenia.

We consider Armenia as one of our most important friends and we are committed to working together to advance and deepen the already excellent relations between the two countries.

Today we had the opportunity for very constructive, forward-looking discussions and exchange of views on several issues of mutual interest ranging from our bilateral defence cooperation to regional security.

Our two countries, apart from addressing conventional and predictable threats, should develop their readiness to effectively respond to new and unforeseeable challenges.

The implementation of our annual Military Cooperation Program constitutes tangible proof of our willingness to develop our defence and military cooperation between our Ministries and Armed Forces and reflects the common determination to develop synergies that will benefit our countries and foster our interoperability.

We also had the chance to discuss the latest developments and the current state of affairs in Nakorno Karabakh, especially following the recent joint statement by Armenia and Azerbaijan.

This great initiative is a historical chance to achieve a long-awaited peace in the region based on respect for the principles of international Law and, in particular, respect for the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

We also discussed the security situation in the Middle East and the challenges posed by the current humanitarian crisis.

I had the opportunity to underline the role of the Republic of Cyprus in the region and our contribution to the civilian evacuation operations.

I also elaborated on the Republic of Cyprus's initiative to establish a secure, monitored sea corridor for the transport of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Regarding the Cyprus issue, I wish to reiterate our gratitude for Armenia’s strong support in all international and regional organizations regarding the solution of the Cyprus issue, based on the resolutions of the UN Security Council.

I also had the chance to inform Minister Papikyan about the security situation in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean and Turkey’s hybrid warfare activities, notably through the instrumentalization of illegal migration on the island and the region.

Moreover, I briefed my counterpart on last summer's attacks against UN peacekeepers in Pyla, as well as on the most recent incident of incursion into the buffer zone, in Agios Dometios.

I assured Minister Papikyan that the Republic of Cyprus will continue its extrovert defence policy of building closer bilateral and multilateral partnerships based on the respect of international Law, the rules-based international order and the respect of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea.

In conclusion, I would like to express once more my sincere thanks to Minister Papikyan for his visit and our enriching exchange of views.