Defense Ministers from Cyprus, Israel and Greece pledge deeper military ties to counter common threats

Cyprus, Israel and Greece must forge deeper military ties to bolster security and more effectively counter common threats in a turbulent region, Defense Ministers from Cyprus, Israel and Greece said Friday.

Cypriot Minister Savvas Angelides and his Israeli and Greek counterparts Avigdor Liberman and Panos Kammenos said they also seek to expand cooperation on cybersecurity, joint military drills and search and rescue operations in the eastern Mediterranean.

Liberman said the threat of terror attacks and the challenges posed by illegal migration in “an ocean of violence” where “rogue states” operate must be met collectively.

Defense Ministers from Cyprus, Israel and Greece pledge deeper military ties to counter common threats (3).jpg

“It’s much better to counter regional threats together, all three countries together,” the Israeli defense minister told a news conference.

Cyprus hosted the second trilateral meeting between the three defense ministers. Liberman said Israel will host the next one.

The ministers also hailed the first conference bringing together Cypriot, Greek and Israeli companies active in the military industry, which will help strengthen ties.

In a clear reference to Turkey, Angelides said closer defense cooperation poses no threat to any other country and helps secure the ongoing search for gas in the eastern Mediterranean.

Cyprus and Israel have discovered gas deposits off their coasts and continue searching for more. Turkey has objected to the gas search off Cyprus, fearing that the benefits of those findings will not be shared with Turkish Cypriots in the northern part of the island.

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