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Minister of Defence Guerini on Offical Visit in Cyprus



Minister of Defence Guerini on Offical Visit in Cyprus

Last 8 October, the Italian Minister of Defence Mr Guerini met his Cypriot counterpart, Mr Charalambos Petrides, in Cyprus.

A press release delivered at the end of Minister Guerini’s visit follows below.

​Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini was in Cyprus today on an official visit to meet with Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides. The visit has taken place ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with his Turkish counterpart Hulus Akar in Rome.

A protracted cordial talk - also attended by Rome ambassador to Cyprus Andrea Cavallari- which follows the 26 August meeting that took place in the margins of the informal EU Defence Ministerial in Berlin.

“Our two countries have been engaged for a long time in an intense dialogue, that I am especially pleased to pursue”, Guerini said, underscoring Cyprus strategic value for stability and peace in the Mediterranean area “...where we all belong, and whose security has a direct effect on the daily lives of all our peoples”.

With regard to the Eastern Mediterranean, Guerini confirmed the objective of fostering reduced tensions in the area while re-launching a constructive dialogue with Ankara, without hampering our firm principles. “The European Council recently has given momentum to this process. This is the an approach that Italy has firmly supported. Only by reconciling dialogue with a firm compliance with international law we can find a solution “, he said.

Today’s talks were characterized by a climate of cooperation, focusing on various themes- including bilateral cooperation, the regional security scenario and European Defence- which confirmed the Ministers’ common views of the main security and defense themes.

Lorenzo Guerini confirmed Italy’s commitment in terms of bilateral cooperation in both the technical-military and industrial sectors.

This is clearly witnessed by exercise EUNOMIA2020 and the QUAD Initiative, aimed at safeguarding our common interests in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The robust contribution to global stability and security was also confirmed. Over 3,000 Italian military are engaged in the Levant region, crossed by worrying destabilization dynamics.

“Lebanon remains one of our main priorities, especially at this difficult moment“, Guerini explained in recalling that an Italian military contingent was sent to Beirut after the dramatic port explosion to provide infrastructural and medical support.

“Cyprus support in the aftermath of this calamity was timely and concrete. Your country ensured a significant contribution in humanitarian and financial aid”, Guerini told his counterpart.

The Libyan crisis was also discussed: “(This crisis) sees our strong commitment on the military side, with a number of cooperation activities aimed at providing again to the regular Armed Forces the ability to deal with security in the country autonomously. Also Mission IRINI, where we are one of the main actors, is very important in terms of stabilization. This mission is Europe’s concrete contribution to solving the crisis”.