Cyprus Joining With Greece for New EU Intelligence School

Αssociated Press

FILE - A man walks in the Greek Cypriot controlled area, by the ancient Venice wall that surrounds the old city, the two polls with Turkish, left, and Turkish Cypriot breakaway flags are seen in the Turkish occupied area in divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

With Turkish provocations being stepped up in the Aegean and East Mediterranean, Cyprus and Greece will combing to head a project to build a joint European Union intelligence school (JEUS) with the aid of other NATO countries – it wasn't said if that will include Turkey – a member.

The school will be based on Cyprus and led by Greece and is aimed at training agency staff from the EU, in cooperation with national security agencies and NATO, as well as conduct work on developing new hardware, like drones and electronic warfare technology, said South EU Summit.

Only Denmark, Malta and the United Kingdom, on the brink of leaving the bloc, don't take part in the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) was launched last year, and is part of the EU’s security and defense policy although it has no army of its own.

There's been no response from Turkey, which disputes ownership of sovereign waters also claimed by Greece and Turkey and with Turkish warships having tried to stop foreign energy companies from drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus.

There's also said to be some concern because Greece and Cyprus have leanings toward Russia, which wants to halt NATO expansion and has been seeking closer military ties with both countries, as does the United States in Greece.

There are questions about whether the project proposal will become a reality — PESCO ‘launched’ many projects last year, but a number of these have yet to come to fruition, the site noted, although British exit from the EU could push other countries to get behind the idea more.

Greece and Cyprus are reportedly forging ahead and Greece is training helicopter crews to deal with “hot and high conditions” – with EU civilian aircrews being allowed to participate.

Greece is also heading a project — again, in coordination with Cyprus — to develop deployable special forces, to take part in small joint operations. And it’s working with Italy, Spain, Croatia, and Austria on a deployable military disaster relief capability package for emergency situations, including natural disasters and pandemics, the report also said.