Defence Minister Savvas Angelides is paying a visit to Paris, where he is expected to brief his French counterpart, Florence Parly, over Turkish provocations in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
During their meeting on Monday, the two Ministers will also discuss ways to further deepen bilateral relations, particularly with regard to Cypriot facilities provided to French vessels and aircraft.
“The aim of my visit is, among others, to inform about the state of play in Cyprus’ EEZ and the ongoing energy program” Angelides told CNA.
He added that during his meeting with Parly, he will also refer to Turkish provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean and the presence of the Turkish seismographic research vessel “Barbaros” southwest of Pafos.
Moreover, Angelides said that he will inquire about French intentions in the region, due to the presence of French energy giants that are active in Cyprus’ EEZ, such as Total. “They do care, they do have their planning and we will contribute to any actions, which at the end of the day aim at concluding the energy program successfully” the Minister said.
He further noted the constructive attitude played by France, through its presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. “In the past, France assumed this position and I believe that, being consistent, it will do so in the future” the Minister said.
Part of discussions in Paris also concern cooperation in the European Defence and Security programs, in the framework of PESCO. Angelides said that these programs directly concern Cyprus’ infrastructure and noted that he would try to win over French support in receiving more European funding.
According to a Ministry of Defence press release Angelides will also discuss with his French counterpart cooperation in the framework of joint exercises and training, and other issues of common interest regarding the Eastern Mediterranean.
In the framework of his visit to Paris, Minister Angelides will also visit the militaru exhibition EURONAVAL, one of the largest of its kind.
(Cyprus News Agency)