The Republic of Cyprus received the ship - a gift from Oman (pics)
The Republic of Cyprus today officially received the general support ship named "ALASIA", which was granted by the Sultan of Oman and joined the Cypriot navy.
The ceremony took place in the port of Larnaca.
The ship has been completely repaired and, among other things, will patrol the high seas, assist in search and rescue operations, participate in humanitarian aid missions and will be a training ship for Navy personnel at sea.
In his speech at the ceremony, the Minister of Defense stated that Cyprus and Oman "share common historical experiences, but also common aspirations regarding the need to promote stability, security and peace." "Cyprus and Oman are two countries surrounded by strong neighbors, in two areas of exceptional geostrategic importance." He added that the "Sultanate of Oman, like Cyprus, is a state with a strong naval tradition and a strong naval presence over the centuries."
He added that "in view of the new energy prospects opening up for Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean in general, Cyprus should, always in cooperation with neighboring and friendly countries, be able to contribute to the creation of maritime and energy security conditions, but also to the management in the wider region, in carrying out humanitarian missions and rescue search operations. These challenges, regardless of the solution or not of the Cyprus problem, will remain as pressing as the need to strengthen our capabilities at sea. "Neither the geography of Cyprus nor the threats will change."
The Minister noted that "in the context of the implementation of the First Phase of the Reorganization of our armed forces, competitions and transnational agreements are underway that will allow us before the end of the First Phase, ie before the end of 2020, to gradually acquire three ships offshore and two other small boats for the shores. By then, based on our planning, the expansion of the Naval Base should have been completed ".
The promotion of this plan, he continued, "is in line with our political will to assist as a member state of the European Union, but also as a country that maintains good and friendly relations with all neighboring countries in addressing common security challenges and common threats. . "Upgrading Cyprus' maritime capabilities means upgrading the role that Cyprus can play as a contributor to security and stability in this troubled and volatile neighborhood." He noted that "our constant goal is to promote the common interest and the common perspective of the states of the wider region, in a spirit of mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation."
The Minister of Defense in his speech also referred to the name given to the ship, ie "ALASIA", he said that this was done with a suggestion of the Navy which is as he noted "a name that will remind how long is this tradition that we renew today, but also which will become synonymous with friendship and fraternal cooperation between Cyprus and Oman ".
At the same time, on behalf of the President of the Republic and the State of Cyprus in general, he expressed "our grateful thanks for this important donation of the Sultan of Oman".
Christoforos Fokaidis thanked the Minister of Defense and the Royal Navy of Oman for "the excellent cooperation between us in the whole process of upgrading the ship and training of the National Guard Navy" and wished the new captain and the crew of the ship "to be always have a good trip ".
In his speech, the Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Cyprus Ahmed Al - Shanfari expressed his satisfaction for the safe arrival of the ship "AL - SALAM" "manned by officers of the Royal Navy of Oman together with officers of the Navy of the Republic of Cyprus, transport the message of love and friendship of the leader and citizens of Oman, culminating in the donation of the ship "AL-SALAM" to our friends in this hospitable country. An act that symbolizes the friendship and peace that unite our two peoples ".
He added that "the Sultanate of Oman and the Republic of Cyprus maintain strong ties even before the establishment of our official diplomatic relations in 1992 and the opening of embassies in our two capitals. "Since then, relations between the two countries have developed in the fields of politics, economics and science, with the hope of further progress and prosperity, as a result of the strong leadership of the two countries."
He added that "the donation of the ship" AL-SALAM "represents our respect for the friendly people of the Republic of Cyprus and marks a very positive step forward in military cooperation between the two countries" and referred to the important work done in Royal Navy of Oman.
In his speech, the Ambassador noted that the ship "is now part of the Cypriot fleet, marking not the end, but a new bright chapter in the life of the ship" and expressed confidence that the ship "will contribute significantly to the Navy of the Republic of Cyprus and will be a milestone that reflects the depth of relations between our two countries ".
He also expressed his "sincere thanks" to the Minister of Defense for the "warm hospitality", noting that "we hope for the further progress and prosperity of our countries and pray for peace and stability to prevail."
The handover ceremony began with the submission of the flag of the Sultanate of Oman by the ship and the disembarkation of its crew.
This was followed by the Agenda of the Commander of the Navy, who referred to the history of acquisition and name of the ship and the importance of its acquisition by the Cyprus Navy. Addressing the Commander and the ship's crew, he wished them "good voyages and good seas", reminding them that along with their patriotic duty, they are called to perform the universal duty of defending humanity and human life.
This was followed by the raising of the flag of the Republic of Cyprus, the boarding of the crew, the service of the war flag and the revelation of the name of the ship by the Minister of Defense.
The ceremony ended with the signing of protocols between the Minister of Defense and the Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman.
The handover ceremony was attended by, among others, the Deputy Chief and other officials of the National Guard, representatives of the Navy, MPs, the Mayor of Larnaca, the Larnaca Police Chief and Ambassadors or representatives of China, Spain, Portugal and Portugal. , Bulgaria, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Qatar, Kuwait and Libya.