Partnership Aims to Enhance Security Cooperation, Promote Diplomatic Ties, Encourage Economic Development, Strengthen Natural Disaster and Emergency Response
NICOSIA, CYPRUS – Leaders of the New Jersey National Guard and the Republic of Cyprus National Guard formalized their State Partnership Program collaboration today at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, capitol of the Eastern Mediterranean nation. Today’s signing ceremony establishes the second formal partnership between New Jersey and another nation’s military – enhancing security cooperation between partners, promoting diplomatic ties, encouraging economic development, and strengthening natural disaster and emergency response.
Through the U.S. Department of Defense’s State Partnership Program over the past 30 years, National Guard units throughout the United States have conducted military-to-military engagements guided by the U.S. State Department’s foreign policy goals. New Jersey’s other National Guard partnership with the Republic of Albania has been ongoing for 22 years, helping to enhance cooperation between the partners and advance important national security objectives.
“It is my distinct honor to recognize the beginning of this special military relationship between the New Jersey National Guard and the Republic of Cyprus National Guard,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “For three decades, the State Partnership Program has demonstrated success all over the world, and I have every confidence that ours will be a rewarding endeavor as well.”
The Murphy Administration supported the New Jersey National Guard’s efforts to partner with the Republic of Cyprus. The partnership was approved in October 2022 by the United States Department of State and the Department of Defense, and will build on the growing partnership between the Republic of Cyprus and the United States on issues such as maritime security, counterterrorism, and natural disaster and emergency response.
The agreement specifies both National Guards’ intent to forge a mutually beneficial relationship founded on the needs and interests of both parties.
“Cyprus – U.S. relations have never been stronger and we are always seeking new avenues for cooperation, in order to further strengthen this strategic partnership,” said Republic of Cyprus Minister of Defense Michalis Giorgallas. “We are extremely excited for this new chapter of our evolving and rapidly growing defense cooperation, namely our accession to the prestigious State Partnership Program and our pairing with New Jersey’s National Guard.”
“We look forward to witnessing what great things will come of the ties forged by this partnership in the coming years,” said U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus Julie D. Fisher.
More than 25 leaders from the New Jersey National Guard traveled to the Republic of Cyprus this week to mark the occasion and begin dialogue about the partnership’s lines of efforts, as well as ways to develop capabilities in the areas of disaster response support, search and rescue, communications and intelligence, cyber defense, military medical procedures, leadership development, and more.
“Today is just the beginning,” said Brig. Gen. Lisa J. Hou, D.O., The Adjutant General of New Jersey and the head of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “Our motivation and dedication are never just symbolic. The Soldiers and Airmen of the New Jersey National Guard are ready to get to work – together – with our Cypriot National Guard partners.”