National Defense Minister Panos Kammenos and his counterparts fromCyprus, Savvas Angelidis and Egypt Mohamed Ahmed Zaki attended the final phase of the Joint Interdisciplinary Exercise of Greece - Cyprus - Egypt "Medusa 7" held in the maritime area off of Crete, first from the helicopter carrier "Anwar El Sadat" and then from the "ELLI" Frigate.
The exercise was also attended by the Chief of the General Staff of the Hellenic Republic, Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, the Head of the Navy General Staff, Vice Admiral Nikolaos Tsounis, the Chief of the General Staff of the Air Force Christos Christodoulou and the Head of the Fleet, Vice Admiral Ioannis Pavlopoulos. In addition, observers from UAE, USA, Italy, Morocco and Portugal participated. "The axis of stability, centered around Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, is the hope for the turbulent region of the southeastern Mediterranean," according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It is no coincidence that this military co-operation is the subject of positive comments from NATO, the European Union and from all countries seeking stability in the wider region," the MFA said initially, adding:" Greece, with these tripartite agreements, is building the axis of stability that starts from the Balkans and reaches up to northern Africa. "
Mr. Kammenos congratulated the Greek armed forces for their performance in the exercise, underlined that Greece wants peace and stability in the region, but also prepares its Armed Forces to address any threat.
At the same time, Mr. Kammenos said that the transformation of Greece into a center of stability in the wider region and the international agreements launched by the defense sector will transform our country into a major energy hub and also a producer of energy.
"We are here in Crete, where the deposits, which are now contracted to start drilling, especially in the southern sector of Crete, will also become the center of the development of our homeland in the natural gas sector and in terms of extraction gas pipeline and pipelines linking the deposits of Egypt, Israel and Cyprus with Greek resources and enabling the European Union to have self-reliance for its natural and energy resources, "said the MPC A.
Mr Kammenos, responding to a question about provocative statements by Turkish officials, said: "Greece is not following Turkey's rhetoric. I believe that Turkey should understand that it has an interest, instead of proceeding with constant threats and being isolated from the international community, to get closer to Greece and the other countries in the region, to lower the rhetoric of challenges and confrontation and to see how our peoples can live peaceably. "
Finally, the Minister of National Defense closed his statement saying: "The message sent by the Medusa exercise is that in this region that has been tortured by wars, constant episodes and insecurity, we can live together, provide security, allow our peoples to use their natural resources and to live with prosperity, united and away from violence and terrorism. "
For his part, the Minister of Defense of Cyprus, Savvas Angelidis, stressed that the "Medusa 7" exercise: "The importance of trilateral partnerships, especially for the Eastern Mediterranean, is enormous. The message we have to send is a message of unity and a message that will point out that security leads to the development of the region and will benefit our people. "
Regarding Turkey's energy threats, Mr. Angelidis said that the Republic of Cyprus is responding wisely and that through collective actions it is able to proceed without hindrance to the exploitation of its EEZ and to preserve its sovereign rights.