Ministry of Defence is implementing programs to significantly upgrade capabilities in intelligence information gathering and to address specific threats, Defense Minister Charalambos Petrides said Monday.

Speaking at a sword ceremony at the National Guard, the Minister said that Turkey is intensifying its provocations and is methodically creating new impasses while violating the international law and the UN Security Council resolutions. He said that Turkey`s claims for a two-state solution and its actions in the fenced off town of Varosha are unacceptable.

He went on to say that during this particularly critical period, the National Guard must remain committed to its mission, to defend the freedom and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Numerous rounds of talks under the aegis of the UN with the aim to reunite the island, failed to yield results.

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