Italian frigate conducted military exercise with Cyprus

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Italian naval frigate Virginio Fasan was docked in Larnaca this week while on operation in the Eastern Mediterranean for presence and surveillance activities.

A statement by the Italian embassy in Nicosia said the frigate is conducting patrolling operations in compliance with international law and to safeguard national interests.

The ships also conducted a joint military exercise with the Cypriot navy as the two EU countries have agreed closer defence cooperation.

“The presence of the Fasan in Cyprus is part of the ‘naval diplomacy’ activities carried out by the Italian Navy in the context of international cooperation and dialogue with the countries of the area, with which Italy has important political, diplomatic, economic and cultural relations,” said the embassy.

The frigate is the latest Italian ship to visit the island, after a series of calls by Italian ships to Cyprus ports in the last few months.

The Virginio Fasan is the second of the FREMM class units and the first in ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) configuration.

It was consigned to the Italian Navy in 2013 and is currently serving with the First Marine Division Command, based in La Spezia.