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Defense cooperation, Turkish provocations, Ukrainian discussed by the Ministries of Cyprus and Austria

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Issues of common interest between Cyprus and Austria, as well as important defense issues of concern to the EU, the Turkish challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean, defense cooperation within the EU and Ukraine, were at the center of the meeting today between Defense Minister Charalambos Petridis and Austrian counterpart Claudia Tanner during the meeting they had at the Ministry of Defense in Nicosia. Ms. Tanner stressed that her country supports the territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus against Turkish provocations.

According to a joint statement, during their talks, the two Ministers discussed issues of mutual interest both at bilateral level and in various European defense initiatives. The Ministers also had the opportunity to discuss other issues related to the emerging challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean, which pose a threat to international peace and security.

The ministers also condemned actions that undermine the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of any country, stressing the need for all countries to respect international law, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other related agreements.

In statements after the meeting, Mr. Petridis said that he had the opportunity to express to his Austrian counterpart, the deep appreciation for the long-term commitment and contribution of Austria to UNFICYP. A contribution, he noted, that today is more important than ever, given the growing challenges from the Turkish occupation forces along the ceasefire line.

The Minister said that they discussed the escalating challenges and the illegal activities of Turkey in Varosia, Rizokarpaso, as well as in the EEZ and the maritime zones of Cyprus, the national airspace and the Nicosia FIR. He added that ignoring the calls of the international community, Turkey continues its plans to create new ones, emphasizing that the international community can not remain inactive.

Mr. Petridis also mentioned that with his counterpart they also addressed a number of issues of European interest such as immigration and the issue of border security, as well as a wide range of regional and other issues from our common agenda, mainly in the context of security and defense, in a spirit of mutual understanding. As he said, they both had the opportunity to attend the last meeting of the EU Defense Ministers during which the text of the Compass Strategy was discussed. “We look forward to a dialogue that will lead to increased strategic autonomy, resilience and the ability of the EU to act for the benefit of its Member States and its citizens,” he said.

Bilateral cooperation is at a good level and in this context, they discussed ways to further strengthen our mutually beneficial defense cooperation, in order to create additional opportunities and prospects for the personnel of the Armed Forces of the two countries.

He stated that the respective Military Academies of the two countries are cooperating for the joint promotion of educational actions concerning the Common Defense and Security Policy of the EU. and noted that next May we are expected to host jointly with the Austrian Military Academy in Cyprus, the basic training program for the CSDP, with the participation of all EU member states. and Middle Eastern countries.

Finally, Mr. Petridis said that they discussed the current situation in Ukraine, expressing to his counterpart the concern about the accumulation of troops on the border with Russia and noting the need to exhaust all possibilities for finding a solution through dialogue and through diplomatic action. .

Concluding, Mr. Petridis thanked her once again for her visit to Cyprus, in this challenging period.

For her part, Ms. Tanner initially said that more than 70,000 Austrian troops have been deployed to the UN mission in Cyprus and that Austria continues to support this mission.

He went on to say that Cyprus is exposed to enormous pressures in the Mediterranean region and the Austrian effort is facing this situation with great concern. She stated that as an EU member, her country fully supports the position of Cyprus. “The territorial sovereignty of a state should not be violated in any case and any action in this regard is a violation of international law,” he stressed.

Regarding immigration, he said that the critical situation in and around Europe means that they expect an increase in immigration in Austria, emphasizing the need for stronger external protection.

Referring to the situation on the border with Ukraine, the Austrian The minister said that the current situation poses a risk of full-scale war on the European continent, which is a worrying prospect. However, there appear to be some positive signs of de-escalation.

In a joint statement, the Ministers reiterated their commitment to further strengthen their efforts within the EU to combat terrorism, arms trafficking and illegal immigration flows.

In this regard, expressed their deep concern at the tolerance shown by some countries, which allow foreign fighters or illegal immigration flows to cross and move through their territories, threatening the security and stability of other countries.

Ministers referred to the perspective opened by the Strategic Compass for possible threats to the EU, as perceived by the Member States, as well as to the Mutual Assistant clause (Article 42/7 TEU). At the same time, both Cyprus and Austria support a mutually beneficial EU-NATO cooperation, based on the principles of transparency, inclusion and reciprocity and with respect for the decision-making autonomy of each Organization.


Source: politis.com.cy

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