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Cyprus President to meet Macron over East Med tensions

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Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades will meet France’s President Emmanuel Macron, on Thursday in Paris to discuss escalating tensions in the eastern Mediterranean due to Turkish aggression.

Their meeting is scheduled for the morning of July 23, a Cyprus Presidency statement said.

Government spokesperson Kyriacos Koushos announced last week that Anastasiades had accepted an invitation by Macron to visit Paris.

President Anastasiades will hold talks with Macron about issues high on the EU agenda as well as developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The visit follows an EU leaders’ summit where Turkey was the topic of discussion on the sidelines.

During that summit, Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis urged their EU peers to institute “tough sanctions” against Turkey in response to its gunboat diplomacy against them.

EU leaders accepted a proposal by European Council President Charles Michel for a special session on the EU’s strategic relationship with Turkey in September.

Nicosia and Paris have worked on a closer bilateral relationship in recent years with energy giant Total heavily involved in the island’s gas exploration while France has signed a defence pact with Cyprus.