RoC arming themselves in preparation for Peace Talks?

FN P90 submachine gun in hands of Cypriot National Guard during parade in Larnaca.

RoC Defence Minister, Costas Papakostas, publicly notified the outside world of his intentions to create a modern and competitive army in the Republic of Cyprus. To this purpose he is equipping the National Guard with more than 400 military vehicles and 41 fighting tanks added to 3 ultra modern attack helicopters and and new weapons systems.

These acquisitions are necessary “to protect the sovereignty of the republic.” The announcement has met with criticism from the TRNC. It was only last year that the political leaders of both states, Christofias and Talat, agreed (one of the few publicly announced things that they actually agreed on) during the reunification/peace talks that the island should become a demilitarised zone. According to the latest UNFICYP report the island in home to 21,000 Mainland Turkish and 3000 Turkish Cypriot troops and 12,000 National Guard (RoC) plus 60,000 reserves and 3,000 Mainland Greek troops.

In my mind that’s a long way short on from what was agreed on. Reminds me of Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s comment “don’t badger me with the promises I made yesterday.”  I wonder if the EU is paying for this massive investment?

Sources
Star Kıbrıs
Phileleftheros

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