National Guard Chief stresses need for reciprocity and respect in EU – NATO cooperation

The development of EU-NATO cooperation should be based on the existing principles of “inclusion, reciprocity and respect for the decision-making autonomy and the procedures of the two organizations”, said during the meeting of the EU Military Committee at the level of Chiefs of Armed Forces, the Chief of General Command of the National Guard, Lieutenant-General Elias Leontaris.

During his speech at the meeting held today in Brussels, under the chairmanship of General Michael Kostarakos, Lieutenant-General Elias Leontaris, stressed that “Cyprus, which has maintained a constructive attitude, expects that the EU members and NATO members will act with respect for this co-operation”. He also referred to Turkeys recent provocative actions against the Republic of Cyprus.

The Heads had the opportunity to exchange views on the state of implementation of the EU-NATO cooperation in the presence of the President of the NATO Military Committee, General Peter Pavel and the Supreme Commander of the Western Europe Force (SACEUR) General Curtis Scaparrotti. They also discussed the issue of Military Mobility, which involves the movement of military forces and materials within the EU.

As regards military mobility, the Lieutenant-General Leontaris said that Cyprus “is actively involved in the Military Mobility Program”, stressed in particular “the importance of securing the sovereign rights of the Member States” and “the need for this program to serve the interests and aspirations of the EU “.

The Chiefs also were also informed on Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) operations and missions from their respective sectoral commanders, as well as the cooperation between the EU and the United Nations, particularly in relation to peacekeeping operations, (PESCO), the Annual Consolidated Assessment Report on Defense and EU actions on the development of military capabilities and programs European Defense Agency (EDA).

Finally, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr McGerini, briefed the Heads on the process of implementing the EUs Global Strategy on Security and Defense.

In the margins Lieutenant-General Elias Leontaris held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Bulgaria and Finland General Andrey Botsev and General Jarmo Lindberg respectively, with whom they discussed issues of mutual interest. Tonight, the Head of the GEF will be attend a dinner co-organized by the EU and NATO Military Committees. The next Ordinary Session of the Military Committee will be held in October 2018.

Source: Cyprus News Agency