Issues concerning cooperation between Cyprus and France in energy and defence, bilateral relations, Turkey’s provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as EU priorities, were discussed during a meeting between President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron.
The meeting was held in Paris on Thursday.
On his part, Macron stated that it would be a serious error by the European Union to not respond to provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean. He emphasised that he wanted more sanctions on those who violated Greek and Cypriot maritime space.
"In this part of the Mediterranean, which is vital for our two countries, energy and security issues are essential. What's at stake is a power struggle in particular of Turkey and Russia which are asserting themselves more and more and in the face of which the EU is still doing too little," Macron told reporters alongside Anastasiades.
"It would be a serious mistake to leave our security in the Mediterranean in the hands of other actors. This is not an option for Europe and it is not something that France will let happen," he continued.
The EU has already imposed some sanctions on Turkey over drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean, however Macron said more sanctions would be needed to stop the violations.
"I stand fully behind Cyprus and Greece in the face of the Turkish violations of their sovereignty. It is unacceptable that the maritime space of (EU) member states be violated and threatened. Those who are doing that must be sanctioned," Macron added.
Cypriot Deputy Government Spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas noted that before flying to Paris, President Anastasiades had a telephone conversation with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to coordinate action in the face of Turkish actions.