NICOSIA, Cyprus — The chief executive of Europe’s defense cooperation body is urging Cyprus to forge tighter bonds with his organization in order to boost its own security and help streamline the European Union’s military planning and spending.

European Defense Agency boss Jorge Domecq says collectively, the EU is second only to the U.S. in defense spending. But the impact of that spending is “not optimal” because it’s “fragmented.”

He says the agency’s objective is for its 27 members to spend, plan and cooperate together.

Domecq hailed Cyprus’ decision to participate in a military research program. He said closer cooperation will enable Cyprus to respond to EU citizens’ call for a better equipped bloc.

Domecq was speaking Tuesday after talks with Cyprus Defence Minister Savvas Angelides.

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