Minister: Cyprus working with France to expand naval base

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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) Cyprus' defense minister says French military experts are assisting Cypriot authorities in upgrading a naval port on the east Mediterranean island nation's southern coast to allow it to receive large warships.

Savvas Angelides told private TV station Sigma on Thursday that he has signed a statement of intent with his French counterpart affirming bilateral defense cooperation that allows authorities to proceed with the next phase of planning for the upgrade at Evangelos Florakis Naval Base.

Angelides said the aim of the upgrade is to enable Cyprus to effectively contribute to regional security through the European Union's joint military investment and project development program known as PESCO.

A Cyprus defense ministry statement said the statement of intent also foresees the "wider strategic cooperation for the benefit of the naval forces" of both Cyprus and France.

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