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French Rafale fighter jets over Cyprus

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French Rafale fighter jets will be flying over Cyprus this week, taking off from aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle which is currently deployed in the Mediterranean Sea.

Rafale fighter jets will be flying in Cyprus airspace from Thursday until Sunday mainly to assess the Republic’s air defence system and train National Guard personnel in real conditions.

The French aircraft carrier is expected to pay a call at Limassol port by the end of February; it is a frequent visitor under the defence pact with France.

According to the Defence Ministry, the training activity, which is part of implementing the defence cooperation between Cyprus and France, will take place in various locations over the island.

The Defence Ministry said the flights are part of the preparation for the forthcoming Cyprus-France air exercise “TALOS / 2022” and concerns the virtual attack of targets by fighter aircraft and the reaction of National Guard anti-aircraft systems.

France has upgraded its presence in the East Med, with Cyprus, a key partner in regional security cooperation with Greece.

Nicosia has also made deals to purchase French weapon systems.