President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades stressed on Monday the role of the National Guard in promoting the country’s interests with a view to terminate the fait accompli of the Turkish invasion in Cyprus and reunite the country.

Speaking during the Affirmation ceremony of the new Deputy Chief of the National Guard, Lieutenant General Andreas Papapavlos, Anastasiades noted that the country and its people are experiencing a difficult period of moral and social decline, adding that the financial crisis and the ongoing Turkish occupation, as well as the questioning of Cyprus’ sovereign rights by Turkey, do not leave any room for complacency.

He also noted that geopolitical and geostrategic developments in the South Eastern Mediterranean region, taking into consideration the developments in the energy sector with the discovery of hydrocarbons in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone highlight that despite its geographical size Cyprus’ role in the region is upgraded.

In 2011 Houston- based Noble announced that exploratory drilling in block 12`s A-1 well revealed an estimated resource of 5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) to 8 tcf, with a mean of 7 tcf. Noble Energy operates Block 12 with a 70 percent working interest. Delek Drilling Limited Partnership and Avner Oil Exploration Limited Partnership each own 15 percent. Apart from Noble Energy, Cyprus has also signed contracts with the ENI/KOGAS consortium for hydrocarbons exploration in blocks 2, 3 and 9, as well as with French TOTAL for blocks 10 and 11 in its Exclusive Economic Zone. On June 26, Cyprus government, Delek and Avner signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Cyprus LNG terminal.
Anastasiades said that the expected developments in view of the forthcoming resumption of the Cyprus talks require complacency, collective efforts and preventive movements that must be based on the appropriate organization and right plans.

He said that in this complex and demanding environment the armed forces of Cyprus are currently in a process of modernization, structural and operation reorganization, with a view to respond to their mission and the current threats and challenges.

On his part, the new National Guard Deputy Chief thanked the President and the National Council for his appointment, and assured that he will exercise his duties earnestly and responsibly as he has done so far.

Furthermore he noted that he will try to contribute in the modernization and upgrading of the National Guard’s fighting capability, since the Turkish occupation of Cyprus still goes on.

My efforts will focus on creating an effective army with a high degree of operational and fighting capability, with a high level of education and moral, capable at any time to address any challenge and threat against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country, he noted.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated UN-led rounds of peace talks have so far failed to bring about a negotiated settlement

Leave a Reply