Cyprus defense minister visits Israel
Cyprus Defense Minister Savas Angelides is heading to Israel on his first official visit, where he will meet with his counterpart to discuss military training cooperation between the two countries.
Angelides will meet Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday, where the two men are expected to assess bilateral relations between Cyprus and Israel in the area of military cooperation.
Cyprus has maintained friendly relations with Israel over recent years, which have been strengthened following meetings between President Nicos Anastasiades and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The meeting between Angelides and Lieberman will pave the way for a trilateral meeting with Greece, where all three defence ministers will meet in Nicosia in late June.
Last year, Israeli commandos took part in a large land-based joint drill on Cypriot soil, during a weeklong exercise in Troodos mountains.
Israel was also the place for the launching ceremony of the first ever offshore patrol vessel “Commodore Andreas Ioannides” for Cyprus, with at least two more in pipeline as part of a bilateral agreement.
And this year, Israeli jets flew over Cyprus to test Cypriot air defense during the Onisilos-Gideon joint military exercise between the two countries. [Kathimerini Cyprus]