French Navy Will Use Cypriot Station, Upgrade for Bigger Warships

Cypriot Defense Minister Savvas Angelides. (AP Photo)

NICOSIA – As Turkey has tried to keep foreign energy companies from drilling off the coast of Cyprus – including France’s Total – the French Navy is going to be allowed to use a naval station at Mari to service its warships and it will be renovated to make room for bigger vessels.

Cypriot Defense Minister Savvas Angelides and French defense chief Florence Parly signed a statement of intent, said the news website

In an official announcement cited by the website, the two sides “have confirmed in writing the two countries’ intention to cooperate with a view to strengthening the military capabilities of the Republic of Cyprus and for a broad strategic cooperation for the benefit of the two countries’ naval forces.”

Reports said both countries will share in the cost of a new docking area at the Evangelos Florakis naval base in Mari to allow larger warships to dock. Work has already started to upgrade the naval base, the website said.

The operational centre of the French warships will be the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle which is patrolling the Eastern Mediterranean in an area near where Turkey is sending two research vessels to look for oil and gas, violating Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Angelides also briefed Parly on Turkey’s activities inside Cyprus’ EEZ as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stepped up tension in the seas there, including having warships guarding the Turkish research vessels.

The French minister reiterated her country’s strong support for the island and condemned Turkey’s activities which, she said, violated international law and Cyprus’ sovereign rights as Turkey said it’s acting in accordance with international laws it doesn’t recognize.

Cypriot Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said that with Turkey upping provocations despite support for Cyprus from the European Union and the United States that,  “the best response is for us to continue to implement our energy strategy unfettered.”

He earlier confirmed another agreement is in store with the joint venture of Total and the Italian energy company ENI – which had backed off drilling earlier when a Turkish warship approached.

In an interview with Kathimerini, he said the country is focused on partnerships such as the East Med Gas Forum and the role of the EU and US in ensuring stability for investors. As for the Turkish claims, he stressed that Cyprus “is ready for all scenarios” but added that “we need to avoid playing the destabilization game that Turkey is pursuing.”

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said he would issue a demarche to British Prime Minister Theresa May over what he called “unacceptable” comments made in the British Parliament by UK Minister of State for Europe Alan Duncan, who said Cyprus’ EEZ is an area where “sovereignty is under dispute,” indicating support for Turkey’s drilling plans.

1 Comment

  1. The Aircraft carrier Cyprus manned by Nato members and crews has now just added another crew from the country of France… to protect their oil cut of Cyprus. and provide business for their Total oil company.,who was forced to terminate their oil drilling and revenues from Iran..due to the United States threat of economic warfare on France…like they have done to anybody who they consider their enemy!

    Basically, we are witnessing in front of our eyes , a complete takeover of the independent country of Cyprus by the U.S and Nato war mongers and fascist regimes.and watching the coward Anastasides turn over Cyprus to non -Greek foreign countries, instead, of Uniting Greece with be ruled by Greeks, who respect the history, culture , religion, and human rights of the people of Cyprus!

    Therefore, Mr. Anastasiadis, like Tsipras.. now comply with their roles as the Greek Nazi Collaborators in Greece during the occupation by the German invaders!

    Greek Cypriots., if this is what you prefer,.then do not demand a referendum to join Greece.which is perfectly legal!

    If however you understand …that you have no self rule, but simply a protectorate of the U.S and Nato…as long as you have oil to give them… and that the blood of brave Greek Cypriots in 1960 and 1974 has been spilled for nothing , then demand a referendum to choose between part of Greece or part of a conglomorate of war criminas…who will use Cyprus to launch wars.

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