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Naval exercise with French frigate

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A military exercise of naval cooperation (PASSEX) took place off the coast of Larnaca with a frigate of the French Navy, the Cyprus Defence Ministry confirmed.

A statement by the Defence Ministry said the exercise, code-named “CYP/FRA-01/2022”, took place on 21 January.

It fell under the Programme of Bilateral Defence Cooperation between Cyprus and France and was developed by the National Guard General Staff Navy Force Command with the French Navy.

The exercise included the open sea vessel IOANNIDES and the French frigate FS PROVENCE.

“The exercise took place in the framework of the international cooperation the National Guard has developed with the armed forces of friendly countries and allies.”

“It is considered particularly beneficial, as it provides the potential to the staff of the National Guard Navy to train together with Units of the French navy, promoting interoperability and highlighting the excellent relations between the armed forces of Cyprus and France,” the statement said.

France views Cyprus as among its top partners in the Eastern Mediterranean region with upgraded military cooperation and exercises.

Relations between Cyprus and France have been growing stronger in recent years.

Cyprus also permits French aircraft to use its military airbase in Paphos and allows French ships to use Limassol port.

France is also keen to make its presence felt to send signals to Turkey not to interfere with offshore drilling by French energy company Total and its Italian partner Eni next year in waters off Cyprus.