India and Cyprus to boost defense and military ties

Cyprus Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Indian Prime Minister Marendra Modi.

India and Cyprus have decided to co-operate in various fields, including defense, politics, economic, consular and cultural ties, the Indian Foreign Ministry said.

The announcement stated that a fifth round of consultations between India and Cyprus took place on December 10.

“The Indian side was led by Neeta Bhushan, Joint Secretary (Central Europe) and Cypriot side was led by Thessalia Salina Shambos, Political Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Republic of Cyprus,” the Ministry said.

During the consultations, the two sides appreciated the traditionally warm relations and considered co-operation in various fields.

“Both sides reviewed the status of agreements/MoUs including those on defence and military cooperation, sports and culture, including Ayurveda, and agreed to work towards early finalization of these agreements,” the statement said.

Indians and Cypriots also exchanged views on the crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus and India-EU relations, as well as issues of mutual interest, and agreed to further strengthen co-operation at the UN and elsewhere.

The Indians decided to play hard with Ankara, coming to cooperate, among other things, militarily with the Republic of Cyprus, while maintaining very good relations with Greece.

In fact, only last month, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said that India considers Greece as a “strategic partner.”

Indian FM in a teleconference call with Nikos Dendias.
Indian FM in a teleconference call with Greek FM Nikos Dendias.

This is a welcomed development, as in a special security assessment in September 2020, New Delhi made it clear that Turkey is financing and supporting terrorist activities against India, in cooperation with Islamic organizations.

Indian security services have gathered evidence that Turkish-based operatives, with the support of the Ankara government, are facilitating Indian terrorist groups to travel to Syria to fight on the side of ISIS.

Indian security services are becoming increasingly concerned as they predict Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will use jihadists in aggressive plans against India aimed at boosting the Turkish president’s popularity among Muslims in South Asia.

“Turkey’s efforts to fund Islamic organizations based in India, in cooperation with political and non-profit groups, are raising India’s concerns,” said an Indian security official working with the central security agency.

Indians say President Erdoğan’s son Bilal is in charge of subversive and radical Islamist missions.

In recent years, Erdoğan’s son has been leading covert propaganda operations in many countries, including India.

Ankara has acquired another powerful enemy that no one should overlook because of its enormous size.