DEFENCE: Cyprus and France working to upgrade military relations

Cypriot Defence Minister Savvas Angelides said that France is an ally of Cyprus and there is an on-going effort to upgrade military relations of the two countries.

Newspapers Politis and Kathimerini reported that defence cooperation between Cyprus and France is being upgraded with a dockyard at the naval base at Mari under construction, Andreas Papandreou air base in Paphos being modernized, while Nicosia and Paris will soon sign an important defence agreement.

The Minister said that France is our ally and within this framework we are constantly acting with a view to upgrade our relations, either this concerns (the naval base in) Mari, the air base or anything else.

This has to do clearly with the upgrading of our military relations with France, he added.

Replying to a remark by a journalist that Cyprus is becoming a regional power in the Eastern Mediterranean, Angelides said that if we work in a serious way, I believe that we can achieve, through this kind of cooperation, what we’ve been continuously saying, that Cyprus has a role to play as regards security in our region.

He said this concerns both the bilateral cooperation which Cyprus has with European countries, and the trilateral cooperation schemes in which the country participates, noting that tangible work is being done towards this direction.

Angelides said Cyprus has a duty to upgrade its military infrastructure to be a supportive member of EU security and defence policy such as PESCO.

It is my view that our continued effort to upgrading our relations with France in the field of security, as with other European countries, is self-evident when we say we want to play a pillar of stability in our region. This is not gained in simple words, but we need to turn them into action, Angelides told state radio on Monday.

Source: The Financial Mirror