NICOSIA, Cyprus (ArmRadio)—Defense Ministers of Armenia and Cyprus Vigen Sargsyan and Christoforos Fokaides discussed avenues for deepening defense ties between the two countries, as they met in Cyprus Monday.
Christoforos Fokaides voiced hope that the first official visit for the Armenian Defense Minister since 20002 would give new impetus to bilateral relations.
According to him, the centuries-old Armenian-Cypriot relations, the common interests and challenges serve as important prerequisites for the deepening the ties. He emphasized the role of Armenians, who established in Cyprus back in the 5th century and served a unique bridge between the two countries.
Sargsyan, in turn, expressed gratitude for the participation of Cyprus’ President and Parliament Speaker for attending events dedicated to Armenian Genocide centennial in 2015.
Sargsyan said there are two programs for deepening the defense ties – a minimum program, which includes the steps that need to be taken in the coming months, and a maximum program meant for a longer-term cooperation.
He briefed his counterpart on the situation at the Artsakh-Azerbaijan border, also known as the Line of Contact. Fokaides welcomed the Armenian side’s commitment to solve the issue solely in a peaceful way, despite periodic provocations by Azerbaijan.
Following the meeting the parties signed the Action Plan for defense cooperation between Armenia and Cyprus in 2017, as well as an agreement between the Governments of Armenia and Cyprus on mutual protection of classified information.
Sargsyan also had a meeting with the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades.
Welcoming the visit of the Armenian delegation to Cyprus, President Anastasiades voiced confidence that it would give new impetus to the deepening of Armenian-Cypriot cooperation based on centuries-old friendship.
The President hailed the role of the Armenian community, who have successfully integrated with the public life of Cyprus, but preserved its culture, language and identity. He briefed the Sargsyan on the latest developments in the issue in Cyprus.
Sargsyan thanked the President of Cyprus for the constructive and consistent stance on the Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) issue.
Sargsyan later met with the President of the House of Representatives Demetris Syllouris and Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides.