NICOSIA, Cyprus – Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates signed their first military cooperation agreement on Tuesday as the eastern Mediterranean island seeks to strengthen ties with nearby countries in the Middle East.
Cyprus already had military agreements with Egypt, Israel and Jordan, and its armed forces are conducting training exercises with the armed forces of these countries. The nation has also signed a contract to train the Lebanese army.
The Cypriot Ministry of Defense said in a statement that the agreement with the UAE provides for joint military maneuvers, training programs and consultations to expand operational cooperation.
Defense Minister Charalambos Petrides signed the deal during a conference call and agreed to meet with his counterpart in the UAE once the conditions for approving a coronavirus pandemic are met, the ministry said in a statement. Petrides hailed the agreement as the beginning of a long, strong and strategic relationship between the defense ministries and the armed forces of both countries.
The UAE participated in a large-scale naval and air military exercise off Egypt in November. French, Greek, Egyptian and Cypriot workers were also involved in the exercises, code-named Medusa.
Petrides said the exercise shows the prospect of expanding military cooperation between the UAE and Cyprus.