Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and Israel start drills

Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and Israel start drills | af.mil

Greece devices to participate in joint air force drills with Cyprus, Egypt and Israel, announced Greek defense minister, Panos Kammenos on Sunday.

The minister pointed out that some European countries will also participate in the military exercises.

Kammenos’s remarks came after a military parade that was held in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the ethnically divided island’s independence. Since mid-1970s, Cyprus has been Cyprus has been politically divided into two main ethnic groups, Greeks and Turks.

The parade included an overflight of the Greek Air Force F-16 jets, the first showing of the Greek warplanes at the event in 16 years.

For his part, the island's Greek 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.

On 12 November 2014, Greek-Israeli bilateral political consultations were held in Athens, on the level of the Secretaries General of the two Foreign Ministries. The consultations focused on the development of trade and economic relations, the attraction of investments to Greece, and the promotion of cooperation in the defense and energy sectors.

In December 2016, Israel, Cyprus and Greece announced the formation of a regional disaster task force following the threat of fires in the region. Greece and Cyprus were first responders to fires in Israel allegedly caused by arson in November of 2016, Israel previously first responder to fires in Cyprus earlier in the year.

In their third trilateral meeting held in the summer of 2017 in Greece, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Minister and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, where they announced the plans to move forward with the “East-Med” pipeline. The pipeline is proposed to be over 2,000 kilometers long and bring gas from Israel’s gas fields to Cyprus, Greece and Italy.