Tension between Turkey and Israel has intensified as Cyprus plans to buy more advanced military systems from Israel.
Northern Cyprus, officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, is a de facto state that comprises the northeastern portion of the island of Cyprus. Recognized only by Turkey, Northern Cyprus is considered by all other states to be part of the Republic of Cyprus. The tension between Turkey and Cyprus revolves around this thorny issue.
A few weeks ago, the Israeli ministry of defence issued a statement on a GTG agreement between Israel and Cyprus that involves the supply of a land surveillance system, built by Israeli company Elbit Systems, to Cyprus. The deal was signed by Head of the Directorate for International Defence Cooperation (SIBAT) in the Israeli MOD , Brig. Gen. (Res.) Yair Kulas, with the Cypriot Ministry of Defense.
According to sources, the new defence procurement of Israeli systems by Cyprus is happening with a silent approval of Washington that is bent on “teaching Turkey a lesson’ for its policy of acting against the interests of NATO. Washington. it may be recalled, had cancelled the deal to sell F-35 jet to Turkey after Ankara purchased the Russian-made S-400 air defence system. Since then, relations between the two NATO members have been tense.
Israeli sources say that in addition to the deal with Elbit Systems, the Cypriots have expressed their interest in more Israeli made systems for improving the island’s capability to deter aggression. Cyprus’ interest in Israeli defence systems is not surprising. Regional cooperation between Israel, Greece and Cyprus, in place since 2016, serves the three countries mainly on the defence side but also on other issues .
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