Cyprus, Israel kick off joint military exercise

Nicosia, May 30 (IANS) Cyprus and Israel have kicked-off their “biggest ever” joint military exercise in the Cypriot air, sea and land territory, a Defence Ministry statement said.

The joint military exercise between the two countries began on Sunday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The statement added that the exercise, codenamed “Agapinor 2022”, which will be held largely on Cypriot territory, with the participation of “land, air and sea forces from both countries,” will be concluded on Thursday.

Defence Ministry sources were quoted by Cypriot media as saying that judging from the military units taking part, the exercise will be the biggest ever so far.

“The maneuver is part of the agreed Bilateral Military Cooperation Program between the two countries and depicts the excellent relations of the two countries in the field of defence and security,” the Defence Ministry statement said.

Israeli media said that Israel’s Defence Minister Benjamin Gantz will watch part of the exercise, but did not elaborate.

They also said that Israeli special forces units and “many military aircraft” will take part in the exercise.