The enhancement of Cyprus’ relations with militarily-developed Gulf states constitutes a priority, Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides said Wednesday, against the backdrop of diplomatic developments with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia.
News emerged on Tuesday that an agreement for an immediate launching of political dialogue was reached between Cyprus and Saudi Arabia. The Foreign Ministers of Cyprus and Saudi Arabia agreed in Riyadh to look into ways of boosting ties between the two countries, both through the drafting of a number of agreements and through the undertaking of joint targeted actions to enhance cooperation in sectors such as tourism, trade and entrepreneurship.
Nicos Christodoulides’ visit to Riyadh followed after his trip to the UAE on Monday, days after the two countries signed a military cooperation agreement on January 12.
The agreement, Petrides said, provides for joint exercises, training programmes and consultations, and enhances the operational cooperation between the two countries’ armed forces.
He added that the prospects for increased regional cooperation were boosted by the recent agreement reached between the UAE and Israel.
The Defence Minister said his Ministry is working on securing similar cooperation agreements with other Gulf states with which Cyprus shares mutual military and diplomatic interests, as well as the common goal for “the Eastern Mediterranean to become a maritime region of peace, stability and prosperity for everyone.”