EUROPE: Germany values Cyprus as EU defence partner

Berlin views Cyprus as a valued partner in the defence and security cooperation of European Union member states, said German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday.

Cyprus has a unique selling point of capabilities here and Cyprus has a unique geostrategic location. Both of them makes it very valuable to have you as a project partner in PESCO, von der Leyen told reporters.

We will together strengthen our European projects that we are working on, she added after meeting Cypriot counterpart, Savvas Angelides to discuss defence issues.

Cyprus and Germany agreed on Tuesday to intensify their cooperation in the framework of the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) on defence and security.

The two defence ministers underlined their willingness to strengthen relations in the fields of security and defence.

Cyprus is choosing to be actively present in the new security and defence architecture of Europe, said Angelides.

Von der Leyen said both countries are participating in projects, mainly concerning military mobility, geostrategic projects and a network of logistic hubs.

We have agreed to bring our experts together so that we intensify the work within PESCO, she said.

The German Minister also had a message of solidarity for Nicosia, as it fear Turkey will ratchet tensions in the region as it is opposed to Cyprus’ exploration of hydrocarbons.

A huge gas find offshore Cyprus by US giant ExxonMobil has also raised the stakes in a dispute with Turkey over East Med energy wealth.

It is important to show solidarity in asking all countries to abide by the rule of international law. This is important to keep peace and stability in the regionGermany as a member of the EU is showing the same solidarity, said von der Leyen

Angelides said recent international developments and geopolitical changes in the wider region have created a political situation that is unpredictable and fluid, making the security environment more complex.

He said, now is the time to move decisively towards the deepening of the security and defence policies of the EUin order to improve our capacity to act autonomously when and where necessary.

With regional cooperation Cyprus is trying to transform the Eastern Mediterranean from a zone of instability and geopolitical uncertainty into a region of stability and prosperity, taking also into account the potential of the regions energy prospects, said Angelides.

Von der Leyen also thanked Cyprus for hosting German Forces for the past 10 years, in the framework of the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Source: The Financial Mirror