Turkey`s new provocative action to issue a Notification to Airmen (NOTAM) for a large part of the Aegean from Monday until the end of the year does not just concern Cyprus but also all those who care about the region`s stability and security, Minister of Defence Christoforos Fokaides has said.
In statements to the press in Limassol, Fokaides said that it is not the first time that Turkey provokes both Greece and Cyprus.
This, he added, “should not just concern us but it should also concern our partners and all those who are interested in the stability and security of the wider region.”
Replying to a question about international reaction to the agreements between Nicosia and Moscow last week, Fokaides pointed out that “Cyprus has done nothing more than what other countries are doing, that is to say it is defending its sovereign rights and is shaping its strategy on the basis of its national best interests.”
He explained however that as an EU member state Cyprus moves within the framework of EU common policies.
He recalled that Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and traditionally supports Cyprus on the Cyprus problem, it is a country with historically close friendly relations and that during the 1990s when no-one would supply Cyprus with military equipment it signed a defence cooperation agreement.
Twenty years later, he added, the agreement needed to be renewed in view of the needs for maintenance of the military equipment and in order to take into consideration the new challenges in the area of security, whether they be terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, piracy, asymmetric threats the need for search and rescue humanitarian operations etc.
In this context, Fokaides continued a Memorandum of Naval Cooperation has been signed which constitutes an implementation programme on the need to renew the cooperation.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY