The need for the EU to achieve strategic autonomy, especially in the field of defence and security, was jointly emphasised on Friday by the Chairman of Cyprus’ House Defence Committee, Marinos Sizopoulos, and members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Armed Forces of the French Senate who are in Cyprus for contacts. The French officials said their visit helped assess the seriousness of the situation on the ground and underlined the need for the European Union to show solidarity as regards the region.
According to an announcement by the House of Representatives, Sizopoulos had a meeting with Catherine Dumas and Isabelle Raimond – Pavero, who are visiting Greece and Cyprus, in their capacity as Rapporteurs of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and the Armed Forces of France’s Senate for the preparation of a report on rearmament and the deterioration of the strategic situation in the Mediterranean region.
During the meeting, it said, Sizopoulos noted the important role played by France in the goal of achieving security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean region and the importance of further upgrading and expanding the military and defence cooperation between Cyprus and France.
“The Chairman of the Defence Committee further highlighted the importance of developing an energy programme in the southern Mediterranean region, especially in light of the energy crisis resulting from the war in Ukraine,” the announcement said. He noted, it is added, that the tripartite collaborations of Cyprus and Greece with states in the region, such as Egypt and Israel, are important moves in this direction and can contribute to Europe’s energy security.
Regarding the security challenges that the Republic of Cyprus is called to face, it said, Sizopoulos condemned “Turkey’s destabilising role in the region,” through continuous violations of the country’s exclusive economic zone and on its territory, but also through the instrumentalisation of migration flows.
He pointed out that the majority of immigrants and asylum seekers “are channeled from Turkey, systematically and in an organised manner,” to the occupied territories and cross to the areas under the control of the Cypriot government through the ceasefire line, the announcement said.
It is also noted that Raimond – Pavero and Dumas, stated that their visit contributed to the assessment of the seriousness of the situation on the ground and underlined the need for the EU to show solidarity as regards the region. “They also stressed the importance of concerted action and alliances at the European level, as well as strengthening the European defence and security policy in order to achieve conditions of peace and prosperity in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region,” it adds. On the issue of immigration, it is added, the French senators underlined the importance of jointly finding solutions to deal with the increased flows and the consequent risk of terrorist acts.
The announcement also said that, both sides, stressed the need for the EU to achieve strategic autonomy, especially in the field of defence and security, and the importance of strengthening the Union’s protection mechanisms, combined with the development of new forms of international cooperation, to effectively address the challenges against security.
Source: Cyprus News Agency