Government of Canada to Mark 50th Anniversary of Canadian Mission in Cyprus

One of Canada's longest military commitments part of international reputation

OTTAWA, March 5, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today welcomed to Ottawa a delegation of ten Canadian Veterans who will accompany him to the island of Cyprus later this month to mark the 50th anniversary since Canada, together with other members of the United Nations, first began crucial peacekeeping operations in the Mediterranean nation.

Canada has invested a half century of service in Cyprus, helping to quell tensions that grew around the time of the island's independence. Canada's contribution has not been without sacrifice—28 Canadian personnel lost their lives serving as part of the mission.

The bulk of the Canadian contingent was withdrawn in 1993, but a small presence remains as UN efforts to bring about a permanent peace continue.

Among other events, the delegation will take part in a rededication of the Canadian Peacekeeping Monument at the UN Buffer Zone in Nicosia, in honour of the men and women who have served in peacekeeping efforts overseas.

The delegation's time in Cyprus will also coincide with the decompression of one of the final groups of Canadian Armed Forces personnel returning from their deployment to Afghanistan as part of Operation ATTENTION, Canada's participation on the NATO training mission in Afghanistan.

Quick Facts

  • The operation in Cyprus, from 1964 to today, is one of Canada's longest and best-known overseas military commitments.
  • A large Canadian contingent served on the island from 1964 to 1993. A small Canadian Armed Forces presence remains there today as United Nations peace efforts continue.
  • More than 25,000 Canadian Forces members have served in Cyprus since 1964.
  • More than 125,000 Canadians have served in peacekeeping missions over the past six decades—a record unsurpassed by any nation.

Quotes
"Canada's international reputation has been built by our brave Veterans dedicated to operations such as the one in Cyprus. The 50-year-long engagement in Cyprus has demanded immense skills, perseverance and sacrifices from our Veterans in the service of peace. It's an honour for me to accompany these men as they return to Cyprus to mark this anniversary."
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs

"The service of our Canadian Armed Forces personnel in Cyprus has made a deep impression on our military, as well as on both Canadian and Cypriot history, The efforts of Canadian Veterans who served in Cyprus have paved the way for future generations of Canadian soldiers, sailors and air personnel to continue supporting peace and stability, including through international efforts in Afghanistan. The men and women who serve Canada have, and will continue, to stand up for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law."
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs

Associated Links

Photos / Videos

  • Flickr photo gallery - photos will be posted as soon as they become available.

SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada

For further information:

Contacts 
Joshua Zanin
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans of Affairs
613-996-4649

Media Relations
Veterans Affairs Canada
613-992-7468