Florence Parly, Minister of Armed Forces, travels to Cyprus and to the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.
► The Minister of the Armed Forces travels to the Eastern Mediterranean as part of the naval air group currently taking part in Operation Chammal, the French contribution to the international coalition against Daech.
► Florence Parly will hold talks with the Cypriot President, then with her Cypriot counterpart before flying to the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. Questions of maritime sovereignty will be at the heart of their exchanges.
► By visiting the aircraft carrier, the Minister of the Armed Forces wishes to send a clear message: the fight against terrorism is France’s priority.
► She will salute the exemplary commitment of all the military personnel on mission within Operation Chammal.
On 18 February 2020, Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly will travel to Nicosia (Cyprus), where she will be received by President Níkos Anastasiades and then by Defence Minister Savvas Angelides.
This visit will provide an opportunity to take stock of and discuss the prospects for the excellent and growing bilateral relationship between our two countries. The Minister will also exchange views with the Cypriot authorities on the security situation in the region. The Republic of Cyprus is facing a troubled environment: it is at the forefront of the migration crisis, while the conflict in Syria has been going on for nine years; and more recently, it has had to deal with intimidation attempts by its neighbours, against whom it is essential that its sovereignty is protected.
Florence Parly will reiterate France’s attachment to its privileged relationship with Cyprus and its determination to contribute to the respect of international maritime law.
In the early afternoon, the Minister will join the naval aviation group centred around the Charles de Gaulle, which has been contributing since the end of January to
Operation Chammal (France’s contribution to the coalition’s operation against Daech,
Operation Inherent resolve) from the eastern Mediterranean.
On board the aircraft carrier, after a presentation of the mission and numerous
exchanges, Florence Parly will address the entire crew. On her return from Munich,
where she took part in the meeting of the main defence ministers of the Anti-Daech
Coalition, the Minister will reaffirm France’s determination to continue the fight
against Daech. She will reiterate to the sailors of the naval air group the importance
of their participation in Operation Chammal, the strategic importance of their
presence in this region and the pride of the nation.
The air and naval group, currently made up of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle,
an air group composed of 20 Rafale and 2 Hawkeye aircraft, the frigates Chevalier
Paul, Auvergne, Bretagne and Surcouf, the tanker Var and a nuclear attack
submarine, left Toulon on January 21 for the Foch mission, which will last 3 months.
It is currently integrating an American and a Greek frigate, and will take part in
cooperative actions with Cyprus and NATO (Operation Sea Guardian).
In addition to its participation in the Chammal mission, the Air Group is also
contributing in the Eastern Mediterranean to our assessment of the autonomous
situation in this area of strategic interest.
It will continue its mission in the Atlantic and then in the North Sea in order to
maintain the very high level of interoperability with our European and North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO) partners and to maintain the relations that bind France
to its international partners. During this part of its mission, it will include German,
Belgian, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese and German frigates in its escort.