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Politics

In Cyprus, India’s Defense Minister Will Sign Military Co-Op Deal

NICOSIA – In the first visit to Cyprus in 15 years by an Indian defense chief, agreements were scheduled to be signed between the countries for defense and military co-operation among other pacts and discuss Turkish provocations.

India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s was to begin a three-day visit starting Dec. 29 and also sign a declaration of intent for negotiations on an agreement on migration and mobility, said Hindustan Times.

Cyprus will formally join the India-led International Solar Alliance, according to a statement from the Cypriot Foreign Ministry, the island the first stop for Jaishankar who also go to Austria.

He will meet with Cypriot Defense Minister  Ioannis Kasoulides and the House of Representatives Speaker Annita Demetriou and Interior Minister Nikos Nouris to start talks over immigration, the report said.

The focus of negotiations with Kasoulides will include economic cooperation between the two countries, EU-India relations, and regional and international issues, Cyprus’ Foreign Ministry said.

Cyprus’ foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides, right, and his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar meet at the foreign house in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022. Jaishankar is in Cyprus for a two-day official visit. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Reports said the Cypriot side intended to discuss “Turkey’s provocative actions against Cyprus” and the “prospect of India’s participation in a regional mechanism with countries of the region,” without providing details.

Cyprus was said to be interested in bringing in India in some role about energy exploration also involving Greece, Israel, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, but it wasn’t said what that could be.

Jaishankar will also address the business and investment community of Cyprus along with Kasoulides at a business forum in Limassol on Dec. 30, and interact with the Indian diaspora.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and Cyprus. The late Pranab Mukherjee was the last Indian foreign minister to visit the island in May 2007.

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