Cyprus’ aim is not to become a staging post during armed conflict, the president said on Tuesday, as it discusses the possibility of granting naval facilities to France.
“On the contrary, we want to turn into, and we are gradually turning into, a provider of security through the facilities granted not only to European countries but also other forces like Russia and America,” Nicos Anastasiades said in an interview with the Cyprus News Agency.
He added Cyprus wants to be a state that does not pose a danger to anyone, but to be a factor of stability that will contribute to peace in the region and not raise tensions or provoke threats through the use of its territory.
Asked if a permanent naval base for French warships was on the cards, the president said it was an issue that was being discussed.
Cyprus has agreed to offer France permanent facilities at the naval base in Mari, which has been confirmed by former foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides who made it clear that this will not be a French base, but a Cypriot base on which facilities would be given to France.
A docking area will be built at the Evangelos Florakis naval base to allow French warships to dock. The project will be co-financed by the two countries.
Cyprus has been offering facilities to the French navy since 2013 at the Andreas Papandreou air force base.
Cyprus is also in the process of boosting military cooperation with Germany.