A two-day training of elite forces between the US and Cyprus that ended on Friday is a milestone in bilateral relations which are being deepened, according to Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides and US Ambassador Judith Garber.
The exercise was part of the bilateral cooperation between Cyprus and the US and was carried out on the General Support Vessel “ALASIA” of the Navy Command that is docked at Limassol Port.
Minister Petrides described Friday’s elite training of the National Guard Special Forces with the US Navy Seals as “another milestone in our enhanced defence cooperation with the US.”
In remarks at the end of the two-day training, Petrides said the exercise between the two countries “special forces is part of numerous developments during the last couple of years, such as access to IMET, the partial lifting of the arms embargo for non-lethal material through ITAR, the establishment of CYCLOPS and many more. Cyprus and the US are on the same strategic boat.”
“We need to be able to respond to asymmetric threats and emerging crises,” he added.
Our objective, he stressed, “is to deepen and enhance our bilateral defence cooperation with the US.”
Minister Petrides also underlined the importance attached to this sort of elite training, “increasing our interoperability and ability to work together for the security and stability in the region”.
The Defence Minister said they “look forward to more joint exercises and joint activities with the US Armed Forces.”
US Ambassador Judith Garber said she was especially proud of the joint training of the National Guard Special Forces with the US Navy Seals.
She also expressed satisfaction about the progress of bilateral relations, adding more will follow in the near future with joint activities as both countries are working together for safety and stability in the wider region. Garber remarked that “automatically exercising and working together seems as if it is the most natural thing in the world” between the two countries.
“We have made such progress in our bilateral security cooperation since the signing of the Statement of Intent back in November 2018,” said Garber.
“It’s great to see this level of security cooperation and we are looking forward to even more as we work together for regional security and stability,” she said.
With the partial lifting through a waiver of our defence trade restrictions on non-lethal sales “we are very much hoping to see the results on that”, she said, adding the she is very pleased that some US companies have participated in recent tenders. “These are all signs of our deepening cooperation and we are looking forward to doing many much more exercises together in the near future,” she noted.