Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
Print this page Print Bookmark and Share
Media Watch 2005

11 March 2005
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Author: Angelos Marcopoulos
Comment: The following appeared in the Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 11 March 2005.
Cyprus welcomed to EU defence
" The ministers stressed that the EU now has its own European Defence force and can operate independently of NATO. This made it possible to include Cyprus and Malta in the EU defence arrangements, over-riding the previous Turkish objections when EU defence was tied to NATO."

IN a move overriding Turkish objections, Cyprus and Malta will today participate for the first time in the EU ministerial gathering on European defence.

This was revealed to The Cyprus Weekly by senior EU officials, including Luc Frieden, the Minister of Defence of Luxembourg, the holder of the current presidency of the EU Council, as well as the French and Belgian Defence Ministers, Michelle Alliot-Marie and Andre Frahaut.

The ministers stressed that the EU now has its own European Defence force and can operate independently of NATO. This made it possible to include Cyprus and Malta in the EU defence arrangements, over-riding the previous Turkish objections when EU defence was tied to NATO.

"The main subject of Friday's meeting of EU Defence Ministers will be to find out how we can best utilise EU defence capabilities in cases of natural disasters, like the recent tsunami tragedy and other similar situations,'' Luxembourg's Frieden told The Cyprus Weekly.

"We want to give Europe the means to develop its activities in the world either inside NATO, or in an autonomous way,'' said Mrs Alliot-Marie of France."