Ministers discuss potential for Cyprus-Greece cooperation in defence industry

Defence Minister Christoforos Fokaides met on Monday in Nicosia with Greece’s Alternate Minister of Nationa Defence Dimitris Vitsas, and the two men discussed the possibilities for cooperation in the defence industry, within the framework of the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO).

In statements after the meeting, Fokaides said that Cypriot companies are interested in producing dual use products, to be used both for military and non-military purposes.

He said moreover that Nicosia aims to increase defence spending at 2% of GDP, in line with the broader European target.

Fokaides also announced that the two sides finalized on Monday a contract for the procurement of 11 general-purpose trucks, that was pending.

Speaking about the potential for cooperation within the framework of PESCO, the Minister said that Greece and Cyprus aim at taking advantage of opportunities to fund research, as well as the development of their defence capabilities.

The Minister also said that various obstacles in the procurement of military equipment are being lifted through PESCO, noting that this is a significant development for Cyprus.

Fokaides thanked finally the government, the armed forces and the people of Greece for their continuous support towards Cyprus. The two sides jointly formulate their strategy, in order to safeguard their sovereign rights and promote common national interest, he concluded.

From his part Vitsas said that cooperation between Athens and Nicosia is constantly being pushed one step further.

The two countries, he said, made today another step in their defence cooperation.

Referring to PESCO, Vitsas said that Greece and Cyprus firmly insisted on including regional defence industries to the overall framework, along with the major European defence companies.

He spoke finally about the cooperation scheme, Greece and Cyprus jointly promote with third countries in the region and said that both comprise a beacon of stability amid a turbulent area.

Source: Cyprus News Agency