Cyprus has reached a deal to purchase from Israel the Iron Dome missile-defense system, Kathimerini reported on Friday.

According to the report, the deal has been finalized, although the number of batteries purchased and their estimated delivery date remain unknown.

Jerusalem and Nicosia have reportedly been holding talks about the agreement since at least early 2021.

Kathimerini reported that while Cyprus has U.S.-made short-range air-defense systems, the Cypriot National Guard insisted on acquiring Iron Dome to meet its “operational demands.”

The paper cited growing concern in Cyprus over Turkish aggression amid ongoing tensions over contested gas deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkish forces invaded Cyprus in 1974; nine years later, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which controls the northeastern section of the island nation, declared independence.

The head of Cyprus’s military made his first official visit to Israel in March, during which he “visit[ed] an Iron Dome air-defense system battery,” according to an IDF statement at the time.

In June, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi traveled to Cyprus to take part in a joint military drill. The same month, the two countries signed several defense export agreements.

 
JNS

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