Press Release 19 April 2016

The Administrative Council of the Cyprus Army Officers Association would like to inform you that on 14th April 2016 an urgent General Meeting was held at the venue “GARDEN” in Nicosia. The issue under discussion at the Meeting was the fact that the Defence Committee did not submit the Army of the Republic Regulations 2015 (Appointments, Hierarchy, Promotions and Retirements of Officers) to the Plenary of the House of Representatives for vote. Unfortunately during an urgent Meeting on Monday, 11th April 2016, the Parliamentary Defence Committee decided to submit the aforementioned Regulations to the new parliament for discussion, despite repeated affirmations and public statements on the part of the Committee Chairman and other members that these regulations would be submitted to the Plenary of the House of Representatives for approval before the upcoming parliamentary elections. In his statements, the Chairman of the Defence Committee, Mr. Varnava, referred to the reasons for not submitting the respective Promotion Regulations of Non-Commissioned Officers to the Plenary of the House of Representatives and specifically explained that the letter of the Chairman of the Non-Commissioned Officers Association, dated 8th April 2016, was taken into account as it itself requested that the Regulations should not be submitted due to disagreements regarding their content. However, Mr. Varnava did not mention the reasons for not submitting the Promotion Regulations of Army Officers to the Plenary of the House of Representatives since the stance of CAOA has been clear since last November requesting, that is, the vote of the Regulations even as they are currently so as to decompress the leadership pyramid.

The Cyprus Army Officers Association reasonably wonders whether the decision of the Defence Committee was pre-determined and also whether it might obscure other expediencies of certain "members". In turn, in an urgent meeting on 14th April 2016, the Committee of the Cyprus Army Officers Association decided to take some measures responding to the unacceptable and unjustified decision of the Defence Committee. These measures include among others:

1) Render the departing Parliamentary Defence Committee as “unwelcome” to any visits arranged to be carried out at the camps of the National Guard with the aim to express greetings to, among others, CAOA members for the Easter holidays. Feeling obliged to welcome someone, whose stance and behaviour seems to be mocking, to your workplace, is very different from doing so because we wish.

2) Implementation of legal measures against specific individuals, who have over time secured, entirely "lawfully", in a "terror state" and in the name of discipline, their place in privileged positions.

3) We demand an immediate clarification by the Chairman and the members of the existing Defence Committee regarding their decision not to submit the Army of the Republic Regulations 2015 (Appointments, Hierarchy, Promotions and Retirements of Officers) to the new House of Representatives.

At this point, the Council of the Cyprus Army Officers Association would like to deeply thank all the members who attended the urgent General Meeting and got across with their presence that mocking the National Guard Officers is no longer tolerable. Our commitment as uniformed citizens is to continue fighting dynamically but most importantly with dignity for the rights of our members. Finally, we urge our members to continue working so as to defend and ensure the territorial integrity of our country, despite the bitterness and disappointment they may experience.