Cyprus has signed a military agreement with France, responding to growing provocations by Turkey in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and escalating tensions in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region.
Cypriot and French Defence Ministers Savvas Angelidis and Florence Parly met again in Paris and signed an agreement allowing the French Navy to use infrastructure on the naval base “Evangelos Florakis”.
According to the official announcement, “the two Ministers confirmed in writing the two countries’ ‘intention to cooperate with the aim of strengthening the military capabilities of the Republic of Cyprus and for broad strategic cooperation for the benefit of the two countries’ naval forces.”
Turkey dispatched two oil drilling ships to the Cypriot EEZ, and while Cyprus was satisfied with the staunch and common response by the EU and the USA, which both condemned the Turkish aggression and unequivocally took the side of Cyprus, it recognised the need to take more tangible actions.
The signing of the agreement for the use of the “Evangelos Florakis” naval base by the French fleet is a move that goes beyond symbolism as it gives the rhetoric of support real meaning, while also serving the interests of France in the eastern Mediterranean.
Sources in the defence ministry in Nicosia told to protothema.gr that the signing of the agreement is an implementation of the political decision taken jointly by Presidents Anastasiades and Macron who are expected to meet again either in Paris or in Nicosia to announce details while sending a clear message to Ankara.