The Minister of the Armed Forces of France Florence Parly will reiterate her country’s attachment to its privileged relationship with Cyprus and its determination to contribute to the respect of international maritime law during her meetings with Cypriot officials on Tuesday in Nicosia, a press release issued by the French Ministry of Armed Forces on Monday said.
According to the press release, Parly will hold on Tuesday talks with the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades and then with her Cypriot counterpart, Savvas Angelides before flying to the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. “Questions of maritime sovereignty will be at the heart of their exchanges,” it is noted.
The press release said that the French Minister of the Armed Forces travels to the Eastern Mediterranean as part of the naval air group currently taking part in Operation Chammal, the French contribution to the international coalition against Daech.
“By visiting the aircraft carrier, the Minister of the Armed Forces wishes to send a clear message: the fight against terrorism is France’s priority. She will salute the exemplary commitment of all the military personnel on mission within Operation Chammal,” the press release said.
Furthermore it noted that “this visit will provide an opportunity to take stock of and discuss the prospects for the excellent and growing bilateral relationship between” France and Cyprus.
“The Minister will also exchange views with the Cypriot authorities on the security situation in the region. The Republic of Cyprus is facing a troubled environment: it is at the forefront of the migration crisis, while the conflict in Syria has been ongoing for nine years; and more recently, it has had to deal with attempts by its neighbours to intimidate her, against whom it is essential that its sovereignty be protected,” the press release said.
It added that “Florence Parly will reiterate France’s attachment to its privileged relationship with Cyprus and its determination to contribute to the respect of international maritime law.”
According to the press release, in the early afternoon the Minister will join the naval aviation group centred around the Charles de Gaulle, which has been contributing since the end of January to Operation Chammal (France’s contribution to the coalition’s operation against Daesh, Operation Inherent resolve) from the eastern Mediterranean.
As it is noted, “on board the aircraft carrier, after a presentation of the mission and numerous exchanges, Florence Parly will address the entire crew. On her return from Munich, where she took part in the meeting of the main defence ministers of the Anti-Daesh Coalition, the Minister will reaffirm France’s determination to continue the fight against Daesh. She will reiterate to the sailors of the naval air group the importance of their participation in Operation Chammal, the strategic importance of their presence in this region and the pride of the nation,” the press release said.
According to the press release, the air and naval group, currently made up of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, an air group composed of 20 Rafale and 2 Hawkeye aircraft, the frigates Chevalier Paul, Auvergne, Bretagne and Surcouf, the tanker Var and a nuclear attack submarine, left Toulon on January 21 for the Foch mission, which will last three months. It is currently integrating an American and a Greek frigate, and will take part in cooperative actions with Cyprus and NATO (Operation Sea Guardian).
In addition to its participation in the Chammal mission, the Air Group is also contributing in the Eastern Mediterranean to the assessment of the autonomous situation in this area of strategic interest.
It will continue its mission in the Atlantic and then in the North Sea in order to maintain the very high level of interoperability with France’s European and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) partners and to maintain the relations that bind France to its international partners. During this part of its mission, it will include German, Belgian, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese and German frigates in its escort, the press release concluded.
(Cyprus News Agency)