The UK and Cyprus defence relationship is strong, said British High Commissioner Irfan Siddiq during the opening of the 5th Strategic Leadership Programme delivered in Cyprus.

A press release by the British High Commission said that over the course of this week, the National Guard, the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom and Cranfield University delivered the fifth Strategic Leadership Programme in Cyprus.

Military professionals from Cyprus, Greece, Jordan, Israel, Egypt and the UK, together with partners from the Cyprus Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence, Digital Security Authority, Department of Civil Aviation, the Customs Department and the Police completed the five-day course.

In addition to training led by the Defence Academy, attendees heard personal testimonies on the challenges of strategic leadership from, Philippos Soseilos (CEO PwC Cyprus) and Air Vice Marshal Peter Squires, Commander British Forces Cyprus.

Defence Minister, Charalambos Petrides, and British High Commissioner to Cyprus, Irfan Siddiq OBE, opened the event.

In his introductory remarks, the British High Commissioner said “the UK and Cyprus defence relationship is strong, and we have shared defence and security challenges with mutual interest in ensuring stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

Joint education and training initiatives are essential and Britain is proud to jointly deliver such important training with the Republic of Cyprus.

He noted that “the breadth of bilateral cooperation is growing across all domains. The UK and Cyprus are delivering increased joint training, capability, and education opportunities. UK-based and regional military education is continuing annually, with Cypriot military and defence partners forming a major cohort on our yearly Strategic Leadership Programme, now in its 5th year.”

Last year, a National Guard officer, graduated from a year-long programme with the prestigious Royal College of Defence Studies, whilst this year another Officer is undertaking the Masters-level Advanced Command and Staff Course in Shrivenham, England.

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