US State Department announces regional security training center with Cyprus aptly named CYCLOPS

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The Republic of Cyprus and the United States have expanded relations through the creation of a joint security training centre that has the abbreviated name of CYCLOPS.

"To expand this cooperation and to support capacity-building in nations where in-country training is impossible, our two countries have agreed to construct a regional border security training hub in the Republic of Cyprus — the Cyprus Center for Land, Open-seas, and Port Security (CYCLOPS)," the US Department of State said in a press release yesterday.

"CYCLOPS will allow the United States and our partners to provide technical assistance in more areas related to security and safety, including customs and exports control, port and maritime security, and cybersecurity," the statement added.

"The training facility will include a number of different hands-on training platforms, including a mock land border crossing, passenger screening area, and a mobile cyber security training lab, which will enable regional partners to learn best practices for securing critical infrastructure and to engage in cross border, counterproliferation cyber investigations," the statement continued, adding that "CYCLOPS will support our efforts to curb the proliferation risks posed by malign regional actors and violent extremist organizations."

The US Department of State emphasized that Washington's support for CYCLOPS "is a true partnership" with Cyprus.

"The United States will provide equipment, trainers, and other capacity-building support, while the Republic of Cyprus will contribute land, facilitate travel, and provide trainers. Construction of the training facility is expected to begin later this year," the statement concluded.

This announcement came off the back of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visiting Cyprus yesterday.

Pompeo yesterday expressed his concern about Turkey's provocations in the East Mediterranean.

“Countries in the region need to resolve disagreements including on security and energy resource and maritime issues diplomatically and peacefully,” Pompeo said in his meeting with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades that lasted an hour and a half.

“Increased military tensions help no one but adversaries who would like to see division in transatlantic unity,” he said.

In Greek mythology, the Cyclops was a one-eyed monster species, and surely this fact was not overlooked by American and Cypriot officials when they were naming CYCLOPS.

In July, the United States has announced its intention to provide International Military Education and Training (IMET) to the Cypriot Army beginning in 2021. This is based on the State Department’s strategy for the Eastern Mediterranean, as reported by Greek City Times.

The Twitter account of the US Embassy in Cyprus Twitter posted: “We’re strengthening our security partnership with the Republic of Cyprus by providing International Military Education and Training. The IMET program promotes regional stability & defense capabilities through professional military education and training.”

“The IMET program is a key component of U.S. security assistance, promoting regional stability and defense capabilities through professional military education and training. Through professional and technical courses, and with specialized instruction, IMET provides students from allied and friendly nations valuable training and education on U.S. military practices and standards,” the US embassy said in a statement in July.