Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades is set to meet French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Thursday, as the two leaders get together amid heightened rhetoric over the eastern Mediterranean.
Anastasiades, who left the island Wednesday night, flew to Paris along with his foreign and defence ministers, as well as former energy minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis who recently took on an advising role in energy matters.
According to Deputy Government Spokesman Panagiotis Sentonas, Anastasiades and Macron will discuss multiple issues including energy, defence, bilateral relations, and Turkey’s actions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Sentonas said Turkey’s latest NAVTEX issued for a seismic survey in the Eastern Mediterranean will be part of the discussion in Paris along with developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Tensions in the region go beyond military posturing, as commercial issues are also at stake, with multiple countries scrambling over hydrocarbon resources hosted in the waters around Cyprus
Total energy giant is also expected be on the agenda. The French company and Italian ENI are part of a consortium licensed by the Republic of Cyprus to carry out natural gas exploration in waters being actively disputed by Turkey.
Drilling in the eastern Mediterranean, along with ties between NATO allies France and Turkey, have soured in recent months, including over disagreements on Libya, Northern Syria.
Earlier this year, French Defence Minister Florence Parly visited the island, expressing her country’s solidarity with the Republic of Cyprus.
Ties between NATO allies France and Turkey have soured in recent weeks over Libya, Northern Syria and drilling in the eastern Mediterranean.
France recently accused Turkish warships of being aggressive towards its Courbet after it tried to inspect a vessel in June that it suspected was violating a United Nations arms embargo on Libya.
NATO had opened an investigation after France protested during a meeting of alliance defence ministers, with inconclusive results of an investigation into the incident later failing to back French claims.
But tensions in the region go beyond military posturing, according to Bloomberg, as commercial issues are also at stake, with multiple countries scrambling over the rich hydrocarbon resources hosted in the waters around Cyprus.
Egypt also joined France, Cyprus and Greece earlier this year in announcing an enhancement and intensification of political consultations as a tough stance towards Turkey.
Anastasiades and Macron are set to meet at the Elysee Presidential Palace around 11:30am Cypriot time.