7 December 2015, Monday
Fallon: "It is in the interest of Britain, France, Cyprus to deal with terrorism"
We have to deal with terrorism and it is only through the cooperation of the Cyprus government that we are able here to step up our fight against terrorism, which is in the interest of everybody, British Minister of Defense Michael Fallon has said.
He also pointed out that ''it is in the interest of Britain, it is in the interest of France, but it is also in the interest of Cyprus that we do deal with this terrorism for once and for all''.
Fallon visited Saturday the British Bases at Akrotiri and spoke to the soldiers there. Earlier he had meeting with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades whom he briefed about the ongoing anti-terrorism operations.
Speaking to the Cyprus press at Akrotiri, Fallon said that last night the RAF Typhoon aircrafts were in action and successfully striking oil wellheads in eastern Syria. ''It is oil that it depends the terrorism that we have seen and helps ISIL Daesh for their terrorist operations in Western Europe which is a danger for us all. It is a danger for us in Britain, a danger for you here in Cyprus'', he said.
He said that he had the privilege of meeting President Anastasiades to review the overall security operation, pointing out that Britain and Cyprus ''are at opposite ends of the Mediterranean but we both understand the security risk and we are working together to help deal with it''. British Minister said that he thanked Cyprus President for his cooperation, adding that they also discussed other issues including the recent arrival of some migrants here at the base.
''The Government of Cyprus has been extremely constructive and helping us deal with that. We also reviewed the progress of the settlement talks, where as you know Britain stands ready to help in any way towards a lasting settlement that can bring more security to the island'', Fallon told the press.
Replying to a question whether Cyprus can become a target , he said that what we have seen over the last couple of years ''is that we are all at risk from this kind of terrorism''.
''We have seen that right around the Mediterranean. We have seen attacks in Tunisia, attacks in Beirut, attacks in Western Europe. We are all at risk from this terrorist menace. We have to deal with it and it is only through the cooperation of the Cyprus government that we are able here to step up our fight against terrorism, which is in the interest of everybody. It is in the interest of Britain, it is in the interest of France, but it is also in the interest of Cyprus that we do deal with this terrorism for once and for all'', he stressed.
Speaking to the soldiers at the Base, the British Defense Minister said that his meetings aims at explaining at them ''just how valued what your doing is back in the UK and why the vote of Parliament was so decisive''.
He said that Daesh is a threat to Britain and the plots that have been prevented ''were plots to create murder and mayhem on our streets in Britain''.
''We have seen our holidaymakers slaughtered on a beach in Tunisia. We had a British citizen killed in the massacre in Paris. This is a very real threat to us in Britain and it derives, all of them, were inspired or directed from Syria not from Iraq'', he said, speaking to the soldier at the Akrotiri Base.
He went on to say that ''it made no sense to restrict our operations to the Iraqi side of the border that the Daesh themselves did not recognize''.
Fallon said that Britain is now able to hit the Daesh on both sides of that border, in Syria as well in Iraq and to hit them harder, pointing out that this is why ''we've doubled the strike force that is available to you and why we are asking you now to hit them harder, to hit their command and control, to cut off sources of their revenue and to smash their supply lines''.
He went on to say that the second reason why the vote was so decisive in Parliament is that this is also about supporting our allies.
''Responding after the slaughter in Paris to the request from France - our closest neighbor - for help, responding to the obligation the United Nations has put on all its members, calling on every single member of the UN to use any capacity it has to suppress this terrorist death cult and to eradicate its safe havens'', he said.
According to Fallon, France the UN, the USA ''have asked us for help and they have specifically asked for you. They have asked for the Royal Airforces to join this coalition on attacking the Daesh on both sides of the border''.
Fallon pointed out that this campaign is not going to be short or simple and there is a growing understanding in Britain ''that we are facing a new kind of enemy that makes no demands, takes no hostages, does not want to negotiate''.
''This is a new kind of enemy that we cannot negotiate with. Why? Because it is not we do that they oppose, it's what we are. We are people who choose our Government, who accept a rule of law, tolerate other religions. It is because of who we are in Britain and in the West that we face this particular death cult'', Fallon said.
He also told the soldiers that they are engaged in this full-bodied mission with their orders and training, as well as with the backing of the Parliament and the people of Britain.