Chairman of the Jordanian Joint Chiefs of Staff Major General Yousef Huneiti received Cypriot Defense Minister Charalambos Petrides on Thursday (photo) as part of a series of meetings organized by the Jordan Armed Forces (JAF) to boost cooperation with other countries.
During the meeting, Huneiti reaffirmed the “deep-rooted ties” that are based on joint cooperation in various fields, noting that JAF’s efforts are compatible with international endeavors to combat terrorism, extremism, and narcotics that pose a clear threat to the people of the region, Petra news agency reported.
For his part, Petrides stressed JAF’s great role in maintaining security and stability in the region, pointing out that future plans include further agreements, exercises, and courses to develop combat capabilities, standardize military concepts, and serve the two countries' armed forces.
An agreement was also signed to increase cooperation in military fields.
Earlier, the Cypriot Defense Minister said Jordan is a “main” factor of stability in the region.
In an interview with Petra on the sidelines of his visit to the Kingdom which started Wednesday, Petrides said: “Recognizing the extremely important role of Jordan as a factor of stability in the region, Cyprus is attributing great importance in further developing its bilateral ties with Jordan.”
“Our respective leaders have excellent cooperation and our political consultations and collaboration is also at a historic high,” he pointed out.
“Cyprus maintains excellent bilateral relations with almost all countries of the region. Our objective is to create an environment conducive to lasting peace, security and prosperity in the region, in which Jordan constitutes an essential beacon of stability,” he added.
He also said Cyprus is also one of the staunchest supporters of Jordan in the EU - always advocating for the need the EU to pay closer attention to Jordan’s security needs, adding that his country will continue working and enhancing our partnership with Jordan.
He said his working visit to Jordan following an invitation from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should be seen in the context of the “excellent” bilateral relations between Cyprus and Jordan and reflects the “very good” cooperation between the two countries in the areas of security and defense.
“Our aim is to have productive and forward looking consultations and exchange of views on issues related to our bilateral defense cooperation as well as issues of mutual interest, especially for the security of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East,” he noted.
“Cyprus always aspires to cultivate close and friendly relations with all our neighbors, especially the Arab world. In this context we ascribe special significance to our relations with Jordan,” he stressed.
From our point of view, Petrides said: “We are keen to maintain the momentum in bilateral defense cooperation which has progressed in a very steady pace over the last two years.”
Petrides said his visit coincides with the 60th anniversary of celebrating Jordan-Cyprus diplomatic relations.
To mark this special occasion, he noted that his country’s armed forces donated an armored vehicle that belonged to Cypriot National Guard, for display at the Royal Tank Museum in Amman.
On bilateral relations and the existing cooperation between Cyprus and Jordan in various fields, especially defense cooperation, he said bilateral defense cooperation is “a very meaningful” one, adding “we have a very targeted and substantial annual defense cooperation program that every year is expanded with new areas and activities.”
Cypriot Armed Forces have benefited immensely in joining important multinational military drills that take place in Jordan such as “Eager Lion” and “Warrior Competition”, and were able to receive specialized anti-terrorism training at King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center (KASOTC), he noted.
Amongst other forms of cooperation, both Cyprus and Jordan are part of the Global Coalition against Daesh and Cyprus supported His Majesty’s Aqaba Process by providing military equipment in support of the Jordanian Armed Forces. In this context, in March, Cyprus participated in the Aqaba Process meeting on East Africa, upon invitation by His Majesty, he noted.
The tripartite cooperation mechanism between Jordan, Cyprus and Greece contributes to regional cooperation, he said, adding that it is a “very effective” form of regional multilateralism that provides a paradigm shift for the entire region.
“We already had a number of trilateral Summits and I was honored to host the first trilateral meeting on defense issues last December in Cyprus,” he stated.