Jordan's army chief: defence ties with Cyprus key to peace

NICOSIA, Cyprus - Jordan's top soldier says strong military ties with nearby Cyprus are key to maintaining stability and security in the volatile region.

Lieutenant General Mahmoud Freihat, Jordan's Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says his country and Cyprus share many strategic challenges.

Freihat was speaking after talks Friday with Cypriot Defence Minister Christoforos Fokaides.

Fokaides said the European Union, of which Cyprus is a member, should do more to help Jordan deal with the large number of Syrian refugees it hosts on its soil and in the fight against terrorism.

Fokaides said the two countries have signed a military co-operation agreement that involves joint exercises, training and other programs designed to counter common threats.

The Cypriot defence minister said Freihat's visit is the first by Jordan's highest-ranking military official.

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