Cyprus has a taken a new, active role in matters regarding regional security, stability and crisis management, said President Nicos Anastasiades, noting that developments on the hydrocarbons front had rendered the country a pillar of peace and stability in the wider region.
Speaking Deputy Chief of the National Guard, Lieutenant General Andreas Markides’ swearing-in ceremony, Anastasiades commented on the operational improvement of Cyprus’ armed forces after a government decision to hire professional soldiers.
It was this decision that had also made it possible to reduce mandatory military service in the Republic to 14 months, he added.
President Anastasiades pointed out that the signing of important defence agreements with neighbouring countries, European countries and other friendly countries had made Cyprus a credible partner on the international, European and regional defence landscape.
“Developments in the field of hydrocarbons enable our country to play a pivotal role as a pillar of peace and stability in the wider region, while at the same time contributing to EU energy security,” he said.
The National Guard is called upon to continue the effective surveillance of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone, stated Anastasiades, particularly as the Republic’s energy plans had now entering a crucial phase, and taking into account ongoing provocative actions in the Republic’s EEZ by Turkey.
The island’s most recent round of UN-backed peace talks ended inconclusively on July 7, with all parties involved having entered a period of reflection.