France concerned over Turkish activity in Cyprus EEZ

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France Defence Minister Florence Parly said she was concerned about Turkish moves in the Eastern Mediterranean and expressed support for the maritime rights of Cyprus.

Addressing the European Parliament’s Security and Defence Subcommittee (SEDE) Parly commented on Turkish moves in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“We examined the role of Turkey in Libya…France does not believe in a military solution, to the contrary, we endorse a process for a political settlement.”

Military activity in Libya set the process off course, she said, noting that the aim is to bring the political process back on track.

“We don’t ignore Turkish violations in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus,” said Parly.

She pointed to the November 2019 EU Council decision that introduced sanctions, with the support of France, against persons and entities who support or facilitate illegal Turkish drilling activities within Cyprus’ EEZ.

France also supports Cyprus bilaterally and maintains a naval presence in the region, the Minister added.

“This issue, as well as Turkey’s intervention in Libya need to be resolved…The fact that Turkey is a NATO member is positive because we have a forum for dialogue where we can speak openly in order to find political solutions for Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean.”

Party referred to France’s decision to pull out temporarily from NATO’s East Med maritime security Operation “Sea Guardian” after an incident last month involving a French frigate and the Turkish navy, which she called “inappropriate”.

Paris denounced the incident to NATO.

Parly said that the incident between France and Turkey was “extremely serious” and that the French frigate was in the region, following orders from NATO.

She called for the need to resolve the issue through political channels which is why France raised the issue with NATO. (source CNA)