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POLITICS

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French Armed Forces Minister to Visit Cyprus

French Armed Forces Minister to Visit Cyprus

French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly is expected in Cyprus on Monday, July 17, just as a Turkish exploratory vessel continues to roam within Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) following the move by French energy firm Total to begin drilling south of the island, InCyprus reports.

On Saturday, Turkey’s exploratory vessel Barbaros entered Block 6 within the island’s EEZ and was on Sunday reportedly heading to Block 7 – situated next to Block 11 where Total and ENI have dispatched the West Capella to begin drilling for gas.

Barbaros never entered the area of Block 7 but has been instead been in a holding pattern within Block 6.

According to French reports, Parly is expected on the island to meet Defence Minister Christoforos Fokaides on Monday but her visit is said to be related to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and two French frigates situated at Larnaca port.

Political pundits, however, say the timing of Parly’s visit to Cyprus is to send a message to Turkey that they will be supporting the efforts of Total’s drilling in Block 11.

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