The third round of discussions on confidence building measures between Greek and Turkish delegations that began on Monday at the Defense Ministry in Athens coincided with 36 air space violations by Turkish fighter jets in the Aegean which led to four mock dogfights.
During the talks yesterday in which 35 people representatives participated, the two sides discussed security at sea and in the air, as well as the movement of submarines, but talks remained at an initial phase. The meetings will continue until Thursday.
Meanwhile, France is continuing to make its presence felt in the Eastern Mediterranean with its Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly scheduled to hold talks on Tuesday morning with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Defense Minister Savvas Angelides on closer military cooperation.
Parley will discuss “sea sovereignty” issues, according to the official French announcement – seen as a reference to Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) which is being violated by Turkish vessels.
She will then visit the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, which has been moving inside Cyprus’ EEZ for the last three weeks.
Moreover French Rafale fighter jets were poised to participate in a Cyprus air defense readiness exercise.
The French-Cypriot talks will also focus on issues pertaining to the procurement of new military equipment by Nicosia – as revealed by Kathimerini last week.
For Nicosia, however, the timing of the talks has added significance in light of the recent statements by Turkish Cypriots and Turkish officials about plans to open the abandoned quarter of Varosha in Famagusta, in the Turkish-occupied north of the island.
Anastasiades will raise the issue with his European partners during his contacts in Brussels within the framework of an extraordinary summit.