The upgrading of “Andreas Papandreou” airbase and naval base at Zigi was announced by the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades in order to strengthen the island’s defence capabilities, to create conditions for the protection of its territorial integrity and to exercise the sovereign rights of Cyprus in its Exclusive Economic Zone(EEZ).
Speaking at the conference of the Pancyprian Reserve Officers Federation, President Anastasiades noted that the defence cooperation with France, Italy, Germany and the recent agreement that was co-signed by 22 other Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)Cyprus assumes a role analogous to its geostrategic position.
He also noted that the PESCO weakens the obsession of Turkey in maintaining anachronistic, guarantee conditions and rights of intervention as well as claiming to establish a military base in the occupied north and a permanent military ground force under the pretext of external risk protection of the Republic of Cyprus, a claim that was the main cause that the effort to resolve the Cyprus problem collapsed.
The President further assured that the effort remains as it was to find a solution that is fully compatible with the UN resolutions and the acquis communautaire with conditions of a truly independent, sovereign country, which does not serve the interests of others, but the interests of its permanent residents.
Reiterating that “we know the limits of our concessions,” he mentioned informing the Secretary-General, immediately after the sinking of Crans-Montana, of his own readiness and determination to continue the dialogue on a basis that will create and reach a solution with conditions of sustainability and functionality without the mere abolition of the Republic of Cyprus for the sake of a so-called solution as some third parties may see it.
“I am determined to work for unity. And I am determined to continue without responding to any challenges. I think that what matters is that we do not instill the divisive climate in the civil society, “he added.
Cyprus is deepening its relations with key neighboring countries, something that is a strategic decision for Nicosia.
Italy will participate in the next Cyprus-Greece-Egypt summit to be held in Crete in the first half of 2018.
“It is important to have partnerships with both EU member states and countries in the wider region, with a view to taking joint actions for problems faced by countries,” Cyprus government spokesman Nicos Chistodoulidis said, adding that the trilateral meeting with Jordan will be attended by the Jordanian king and the Greek prime minister.
Meanwhile, the Energy Ministers of Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Israel will meet on December 5 with the European Commissioner responsible for the EastMed pipeline.