Gavin Williamson and his Cypriot counterpart sign Memorandum of Understanding enhancing defence co-operation
In a meeting today in London, Cypriot Defence Minister Savvas Angelides and Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson penned an important agreement strengthening the existing deep defence links between the two nations.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Enhancement of Defence and Security Co-operation is designed to help address common defence and security challenges and build on existing partnerships and shared interests in areas such as training, capability development and crisis planning. The MOU will also help generate and support new opportunities for multilateral security training with our regional partners.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Cyprus is a valued partner and friend, and through signing this agreement we have reinforced our already close ties across defence for years to come.
“Our bases in Cyprus are a vital asset in our fight against Daesh with Typhoon and Tornado fighter jets that were instrumental in the territorial defeat of the terrorist group in Syria flying out of RAF Akrotiri.”
The UK and Cyprus have a close relationship and over the last few years have increased military co-operation and undertaken several large-scale joint exercises.
The Sovereign Base Area in Cyprus is a valued security asset to both the UK and our partners, giving us the ability to act swiftly in region when required. Most recently demonstrated in the fight against Daesh where the RAF conducted more than 1700 air strikes that lead to the territorial defeat in Syria.
Alongside this, the British military currently has approximately 250 people deployed on Op Tosca, the UK contribution to the UN peacekeeping force and HMS Duncan is currently visiting Cyprus and is docked in Limassol as part of the Charles De Gaulle Task Force.