Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Meeting of Minister Vulin and Minister of Defense of the Republic of Cyprus Angelides

Minister of Defense Aleksandar Vulin met today with the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Cyprus, Savvas Angelides, who is on an official visit to the Republic of Serbia. Following the welcome ceremony at the Old General Staff, a meeting was held at which the two Ministers discussed options for developing defense co-operation.

- Serbia remembers all the good and all the evil and will always do her best to respond accordingly to every good and every evil. In the most difficult times of our history, Cyprus, its people and all its political parties have always unwaveringly and consistently stood by the Republic of Serbia and our people. When we were deserted by much larger countries, when we were alone, during the 1999 NATO aggression, the people of Cyprus stood firmly with us. Serbia will never forget it – Minister Vulin said after meeting his Cyprian counterpart.

Minister Vulin thanked the people and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus for a principled, consistent and courageous policy regarding Kosovo and Metohija and that Cyprus, although faced with immense pressures, has always stood with Serbia in all international forums, never considering the possibility to acknowledge the false state of Kosovo or change its position.

- The Republic of Serbia is doing its best to work out a solution when it comes to Kosovo and Metohija and that is why we understand how difficult it is for the people and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to solve their problems, on their own territory – problems introduced by others. That is why the Republic of Serbia is watching, highly concerned, the development of the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and condemns any activity that is not in accordance with International Law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – said Minister Vulin.

He added that the Republic of Serbia absolutely supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus, including the sovereign rights of that country to explore and exploit natural resources in its exclusive economic zone, and that all economic activities in this zone can and must be carried out only with the consent of the Cypriot authorities and with due respect for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Minister Vulin interprets the visit of his counterpart from Cyprus as a confirmation of a sincere friendship existing between the two nations, adding that he wishes the principled position of Cyprus, the courage of his people and leadership would be an example of much larger and much more powerful countries.

- I would like to thank the Minister for his personal contribution to making the cooperation between our Ministries even better and even more developed. I want to thank for your decision to choose our assets – Nora, the armored vehicle “Miloš”, our ammunition and for choosing us even though you could choose anyone – said Minister Vulin, adding that buying weapons is not just a matter of economy and the military, but also the policies and attitudes toward where the purchased weapons came from.

Defense Minister Angelides confirmed the existence of strong friendship and historic ties between Cyprus and Serbia that imply mutual respect and shared values ​​when it comes to issues of international concern, as well as a joint commitment to promoting peace, security and the implementation of international law.
Reiterating that his country strongly supports the efforts of the Government of the Republic of Serbia to reach a mutually acceptable and sustainable solution for Kosovo and Metohija within the framework of the European dialogue, Minister Angelides also said that Cyprus supports Serbia on her path to European integration and commends it for the great progress it has made in aspirations to achieve that goal so far.

Minister Angelides briefed Minister Vulin on the problems his country is facing in the Eastern Mediterranean and stated that Cyprus is determined to continue defending its rights and intensify its efforts to reach a legal, diplomatic and political solution, using all available means within the European Union.

Additionally stressing that the Government of Cyprus is grateful for the great contribution the Republic of Serbia has made through the engagement of the Serbian Armed Forces in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Minister Angelides added that he also sees Minister Vulin’s recent visit to Cyprus when attending the parade on the occasion of the celebration of the 59th anniversary of that country’s independence as proof of successful cooperation, as well as today’s warm welcome and the signing of a defense co-operation program.

In order to improve Serbia-Cyprus defense relations, a bilateral military co-operation plan for 2020 was signed today by Acting Assistant Minister for Defense Policy, Milan Ranković, MSc, and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Cyprus, George Georghiou.