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France’s Charles de Gaulle carrier in Limassol

File Photo: CNA

Escorted by a Cyprus offshore patrol vessel, France’s Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier sailed into Limassol harbour on Monday.

According to a statement by the defence ministry, the arrival here of France’s flagship “underscores the special ties and the excellent level of cooperation between the Republic of Cyprus and France.”

A Cypriot navy offshore patrol vessel, dubbed ‘Ioannidis’, had earlier sailed out to rendezvous with the Charles de Gaulle.

The French aircraft carrier is conducting drill operations in the Mediterranean as part of Combined Task Force 473.

According to the ministry, the National Guard will over the coming period carry out joint aeronautical exercises with the CTF 473 and the French navy.

The actions form part of the bilateral defence cooperation programme between Cyprus and France, it added.

The Charles de Gaulle has been out to sea for several months. Back in March, and likewise as part of CTF 473, it engaged in manoeuvres off the coast of Djibouti with HMS Kent among others.

In 2016 the French aircraft carrier participated in air strikes on Syria.

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