It is with great pleasure that I welcome all of you today at the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre for this year's Multinational Exercise NEMESIS.

This important Multinational Exercise has become one of our flagship activities with a true regional outlook. NEMESIS is now in its ninth consecutive year, since its inception back in 2013, and has become an integral part of our annual Exercise program with key partners, stakeholders, government agencies, the private sector and importantly the oil and gas industry.

We are making every effort to continuously improve and upgrade the procedures for addressing any  emergency situation such as terrorist attack, Search and Rescue, marine pollution  within Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone.

As we are bound by following international law and UNCLOS our actions and partnerships aim to promote a safe and secure Eastern Mediterranean for delivering growth and prosperity to all countries in the region.

To that end I want to take this opportunity to salute the recent agreement reached between Israel and Lebanon for their maritime border which hopefully will unleash new dynamic and potential for the East Med oil and gas prospects.

The success of this multinational and multiagency exercise  is based on the high level of cooperation and coordination amongst all the participants. It is, truly, a comprehensive and holistic exercise which includes the private sector and the oil and gas industry in order to integrate their needs.

NEMESIS 2022, like every large-scale exercise, is a great opportunity to extract valuable lessons that will enhance our capabilities, capacities and update our procedures.

I have no doubt that all participants will grasp this opportunity to take their professionalism a step further and draw important lessons learned.

Oil and Gas Exploitation activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus provide benefits but also responsibilities.

I would like to assure you that the Republic of Cyprus is committed to adhere to them.

In doing so,  initiatives like the annual exercise NEMESIS,  actively pursue the maximization of cooperation and coordination of all  involved parties,  from the public and the private sector, based on the international law and international best practices.

At this point allow me to express my sincere gratitude to the countries that participate with assets and personnel, namely Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

We hope that next year, at NEMESIS tenth year anniversary more countries will be joining us!

Your longstanding support is an honour and tribute to our bilateral defence cooperation with each country that participates to the Exercise.

It is also very important, for projecting effective regional cooperation for the   stability and security of the region as a whole.

I wish to all the participants a successful, fruitful and, above all, a safe exercise.