Cyprus’ involvement in the ‘Agapinor-2022’ joint exercise with Israel sparked heated reaction from Turkey, who accused the island’s government of being insincere and destabilising the region.
A spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry claimed that the exercise is clear proof of the Greek Cypriot side’s insincerity in relation to recent mentions of new confidence building measures in an effort to re-start stagnant Cyprus reunification talks.
“Once again we call on the countries that are partners in such actions of the Greek Cypriot side not to become an instrument of provocations and propaganda of the Greek Cypriot side,” Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“The Agapinor 2022 exercise was organised at the cost of destabilising the region and is clear proof of the insincerity of the Greek Cypriot side. At a time when new proposals for cooperation are being prepared, which were also mentioned in the statement by the ‘presidency’ of the ‘TRNC’ on May 31, this exercise organised by the Greek Cypriot administration at the cost of destabilising the region is clear proof of their dishonesty,” the statement said.
The large-scale military exercise Agapinor-2022 involving Cyprus’ national guard and the armed forces of Israel, was completed on June 2, the defence ministry said in a statement.
The exercise started on May 29 and was carried out in several locations of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus by water, land and air.
It was part of the agreed bilateral defence cooperation programme of the Republic with Israel, the ministry said, “highlighting the excellent relations between the two countries in recent years in the field of defence and security.”
The purpose of the exercise was to enhance the interoperability of the armed forces of the two countries, to increase their operational capabilities through joint co-training and exchange of experience, as well as to provide tangible evidence of good neighbourly relations between the two countries.
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