Cypriot Minister of Defence Christoforos Fokaides described the meeting he had with his UK counterpart Michael Fallon in London on Tuesday as “very useful and productive.”
In what has been the first official visit by a Cypriot Defence Minister to the UK, Fokaides and Fallon discussed a number of issues of mutual interest. “We had the opportunity to discuss the new security challenges that have been emerging as a result of the heightened terrorism activity and more generally of the growing asymmetric threats, the escalation of the migration crisis, and the escalation of instability in the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East; a region that is troubled and geopolitically particularly sensitive. Cyprus plays and can play an especially significant role as a pillar of security, stability and peace,” said Fokaides.
He added that in this respect Cyprus pursues the creation of conditions which allow for the optimal cooperation with regional neighbours but also with EU partners, especially with countries such as the UK that have an internationally important role.
The Defence Minister, who was accompanied in his meetings by the Cyprus High Commissioner to London Euripides Evriviades and senior officials from the Ministry of Defence, also said that in his meeting with Fallon they touched on the security guarantees issue concerning the settlement talks in Cyprus. “We gave an update on the latest developments regarding the Cyprus issue with particular reference to the security guarantees. We repeated our firm position that maintaining a guarantees’ system that reflects conditions and perceptions of the 1960s would be an anachronism. I must say that the British side has no interest in reproducing or maintaining such an arrangement.”