France showcased its military muscle on Monday with a tour of its new frigate Auvergne in the eastern Mediterranean, AP News reports.
The Auvergne has 150 crew members on board and will be deployed in the eastern Mediterranean until January to gather intelligence.
Captain Paul Merveilleux de Vignaux told reporters at the Cypriot port of Larnaca that “this deployment underlines how important France considers this part of the Mediterranean sea,” as well as the country’s “willingness to contribute to the stabilisation of this strategic area.”
De Vignaux said this is the 12th time that the Auvergne has visited Cyprus, which he called as key to supporting French naval operations in the region.
“There can’t be efficient and sustainable naval operations without support and Cyprus is the centerpiece of it,” De Vignaux said.
Relations between Cyprus and France have been growing tighter in recent years. Cyprus also permits French aircraft to use its military air base in the southeastern corner of the island nation and allows French ships to use its southern naval port, which is now undergoing an upgrade.
Source: AP News.