Italy was proud to participate in the multinational civil-military exercise “Argonaut” organized by the Republic of Cyprus to simulate a non-combatant evacuation from the Levant into Cyprus and to carry out joint search and rescue operation drills.
In this year’s edition, Italy’s presence was one of the largest ever, with officers from the Embassy of Italy in Nicosia, the Honorary Consulate of Italy in Larnaca and the Joint Force Headquarters of the Ministry of Defense. Italy also participated in the Search & Rescue phase of the exercise with a key aeronautical asset, the P72 aircraft of the Italian Air Force.
Such a presence further highlighted the importance that Italy attributes to the exercise, and, more in general, to strengthening civil-military cooperation with Cyprus and, internationally, with the members of the Neo (Noncombatant Evacuation Operations) Group. Argonaut is but one of various defense cooperation initiatives which Italy has committed to with its Cypriot counterpart in 2018, which include its participation to the exercise “Nemesis” in autumn and various reciprocal visits, drills and training opportunities.
The increasing turbulence in the Levant calls for increased preparation and coordination among nations whose citizens may be affected by the sudden eruption of a crisis. Cyprus, thanks to its strategic position, to its remarkable organizational capacity and to its cooperative spirit, can play a key role as a temporary safe haven for evacuees fleeing crisis areas, as it has done in 2006. The Embassy of Italy would like to congratulate the Republic of Cyprus for hosting once again such a complex exercise with utmost professionalism and dedication.
Nicosia, 29 May 2018