The Minister of Defence of the Republic of Cyprus, Charalambos Petrides, the Minister of National Defence of the Hellenic Republic, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos and the Minister of Defence of the State of Israel, Benjamin Gantz, met in Nicosia, Cyprus, on the 12th November 2020 for the third Trilateral Defence Meeting.
Our countries are determined to further enhance their robust, ambitious and strategic partnership in the domains of defence and security which aims to foster regional cooperation and partnership and jointly address common challenges and threats.
Our shared values, the respect for international law and our commitment for a stable, secure and prosperousEastern Mediterranean are core pillars of our partnership.
We stress that, in order to maintain peace and security in the region, good neighborly relations and cooperation must prevail, on the basis of International Law and respecting UNSC Resolutions. In this framework, we condemn any actions that do not comply with the International law, and undermine regional peace and stability, undertaken by countries or non-state actors. We welcomed the recent, historic, political developments in the region which will contribute for achieving peace, stability and regional cooperation.
We took stock of the progress made thus far and discussed the way forward for our future joint activities and defence cooperation programme. The three countries now conduct frequent joint military exercises including Air, Naval and Ground Forces drills. Our trilateral defence cooperation is aiming to cross-fertilise knowledge and experiences and to combine capabilities and comparative advantages in productive ways through the participation in training programs and joint exercises.
We agreed to intensify our defence cooperation mechanisms in order to promote stability and security in the region, including, through examining possible collaboration in a 3+1 format, with partner countries which share the same values and maintain a keen interest for the defence and security developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, such as the United States of America.
We agreed to further explore and develop new aspects in our defence cooperation, including in the areas of defence industry, research and technology and cyber defence. Additionally, we have agreed to explore avenues to further Corona – related collaboration that may assist with the needs of the hour.
We remain committed for further advancing our trilateral defence and security cooperation, inter alia, through our agreed annual programme of trilateral activities, notably in the areas of regular coordination on issues of mutual interest, strategic consultations, maritime security, energy security, cyber security and defence related research and development.
We pay tribute to our respective armed forces who have been also called to assist and provide their support for combating and mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to our societies. Despite this unprecedented challenge we have continued our trilateral cooperation, in order to further enhance our defence cooperation, in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean.
We agreed that the next Trilateral Defence Minister’s meeting will take place in Israel in 2021.