Defense minister Panos Kammenos announced plans for joint air force drills with Cyprus, Israel, Egypt and other European countries, as part of efforts to bolster stability in the eastern Mediterranean.
Panos Kammenos’ remarks came after a military parade in the Cypriot capital to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the ethnically divided island’s independence.
The parade included the overflight of a pair of Greek Air Force F-16 jets, the first showing of the Greek warplanes at the event in 16 years.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said there will be no let-up in efforts to reunify Cyprus, despite July’s collapse of peace talks with breakaway Turkish Cypriots.
Once frosty, Israel’s ties with Greece and Cyprus have markedly improved in recent years, coinciding with a spat between Israel and regional rival Turkey.
The three countries now hold frequent joint military and civil protection exercises, including the recent “Kinyras-Saul” exercises that involved special forces from Cyprus and Israel.