Head of the Cyprus National Guard Lt.-Gen.Elias Leontaris and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.Gen. Gadi Eisenkot.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
The head of the Cyprus National Guard Lt.-Gen.Elias Leontaris landed in Israel on Wednesday as a guest of IDF Chief of Staff Lt.Gen. Gadi Eisenkot.
Lt.-Gen.Elias Leontaris, who was sworn into his position in May, was greeted by an official Honor Guard at the Kirya (military headquarters) in Tel Aviv.
During the visit, the head of the Cyprus National Guard and Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, will discuss the joint security challenges and will examine future military cooperation, an IDF Spokesperson’s Unit statement read.
Leontaris is also set to visit will visit the IDF’s counter-terrorism Adam facility in central Israel as well as the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem.
The two countries have taken part in several military drills in recent months, including in October where Leontaris oversaw a joint exercise between Israel’s elite Egoz commando unit and Cypriot national guard soldiers.
In June the two countries held their largest land-based joint drill with close to 500 combat soldiers from the Egoz special forces unit as well as Super Hercules transport planes, 10 Black Hawk helicopters, and around 100 Cypriots.
Israel and Cyprus and neighboring Greece are close allies and share a number of strategic interests. While all have shared economic interests, such as the ambitious project to build an undersea gas pipeline from Israel to Cyprus to Crete to mainland Greece, the three countries also hope to keep the Russian-Iranian-Hezbollah axis from growing.