On August 1st, the Cyprus-France Defense Cooperation Agreement came into effect.
It ensures “energy, crisis management, counter-terrorism and maritime security cooperation between the two countries.”
According to an official announcement, the agreement, which was signed on April 4, 2017, entered into force on August 1, 2020 after the completion of internal procedures.
“This agreement strengthens and further expands the cooperation of the Republic of Cyprus with the French Republic, in matters of defense and security, while at the same time it is an important step towards achieving the common goal of ensuring a stable and secure environment in the Eastern Mediterranean,” the announcement said.
The agreement “enhances co-operation between the two countries in the fields of energy and maritime security, early warning and crisis management, as well as tackling terrorism and piracy.”
In addition, it states, “at the military level, co-operation in the fields of armaments and defense technology, joint training of military personnel and conducting search and rescue exercises is envisaged.”
“The Cyprus-France Defence Cooperation Agreement confirms the excellent level of bilateral relations and the multifaceted cooperation between them,” the announcement said.
At the end of July, President Nicos Anastasiades went to Paris to meet with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.
After the meeting, Macron called on the EU to come down harder on Turkey for provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
Cypriot Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides said that it was agreed for France to play a leading role in the region, especially in matters that concern Turkey’s conduct.
“Macron is working toward that direction,” Christodoulides told state broadcaster CyBC radio.
He added that the French president had decided to invite the seven leaders of the southern EU member states (MED7) to a meeting in Paris at the end of August to discuss this issue.
The French president’s statements prompted a reaction by Ankara, which said that France, “with every statement it has made and with every wrong step it has taken on the latest developments in the eastern Mediterranean, keeps losing impartiality and her chance to contribute to stability in the region.”
“Turkey will not be threatened by anyone with a discourse of sanctions and this will yield no results,” Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy, said.
Signed over three years ago, the agreement comes into force at a very opportune time that is expected to put further pressure on Turkey which appears dead set on extracting more resources in the Mediterranean, especially owing to the agreement it signed with Tripoli’s Government of National Accord.
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