Defence cooperation between France and Cyprus started as of August 1, three years after an agreement was signed, the presidency said in a statement on Thursday.
According to the president’s office, the agreement between the two countries was officially signed on August 4, 2017 and was put into effect this year.
The agreement upgrades the cooperation between Paris and Nicosia in the sector of energy and maritime security, as well as in effectively dealing with crises and facing terrorism and piracy.
At the military level, the agreement also foresees cooperation on equipment and defence technology, common training military personnel, and the execution of search and rescue exercises.
“The Cyprus-France Defence Cooperation Agreement confirms the excellent level of bilateral relations and the multifaceted cooperation between them,” the announcement said.
President Nicos Anastasiades went to Paris at the end of July to meet with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.
After the meeting, Macron called on the EU to come down harder on Turkey for provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
Commenting after the meeting last month, Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides said one of the issues agreed was the need for France to have a leading role in the region.
“Macron is working toward that direction,” Christodoulides told state broadcaster CyBC radio. He added that the French president had decided to invite the seven leaders of the southern EU member states (MED7) to a meeting in Paris at the end of August to discuss this issue.
The French president’s statements prompted a reaction by Ankara, which said that France, “with every statement it has made and with every wrong step it has taken on the latest developments in the eastern Mediterranean, keeps losing impartiality and her chance to contribute to stability in the region.”
“Turkey will not be threatened by anyone with a discourse of sanctions and this will yield no results,” Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy, said.