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Cyprus president pledges 2% of GDP for defense spending | WGN Radio 720

NICOSIA, CYPRUS (AP) — Cyprus, like other EU member states, will devote 2% of its gross domestic product to defense spending as a means of strengthening the foreign policy bargaining power of the island nation in the Eastern Mediterranean. the president said on Friday.

After visiting a special forces training camp, Nikos Christodourides told reporters that recent efforts to place Cyprus among other countries such as Greece and France to strengthen the bloc’s deterrence and defense infrastructure He said it aims to put it “at the center” of the EU’s efforts.

“I have also served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and I know that without a strong deterrent and a strong defense, my say in foreign policy is clearly limited.

According to official statistics, Cyprus’ GDP in 2022 was estimated at €27 billion. A 2% GDP target represents a modest increase in current spending on the ethnically divided Cypriot armed forces. Christodulides has said he has no intention of applying to join a military alliance at this time, but reflects his NATO member states’ commitment to spend 2% of their GDP on defense.

Cyprus was partitioned in 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup d’état backed by the military government in Athens aimed at unifying it with Greece. Only Turkey has recognized the Turkic Cypriots’ declaration of independence in the northern third of the island, which maintains an army of over 35,000.

“As long as our country is occupied, we have an obligation to strengthen our deterrence,” said Christodourides.

The president, who was elected president after defeating a career diplomat in a run-off election on February 12, said his government also emphasized Cyprus’ status as a member of the EU to strengthen defense cooperation with neighboring countries. said he would try to

He also hailed the full lifting of the US arms embargo on Cyprus in September 2022 as an important decision for his government to “take advantage of.” This decision makes Cyprus eligible for the 2023 Exports, Re-exports and Transfers of Defense Articles.

https://wgnradio.com/news/international/cypriot-president-pledges-2-of-gdp-on-defense-spending/ Cyprus president pledges 2% of GDP for defense spending | WGN Radio 720

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