France flexes muscle, puts warship in eastern Mediterranean

Nov. 8, 2021

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — France showcased its military muscle Monday with a tour of its new frigate Auvergne in the eastern Mediterranean, seeking to underscore what the ship’s captain said was the importance that Paris attaches to ensuring security and stability in the region.

Captain Paul Merveilleux de Vignaux said the Auvergne with its 150-strong crew would be deployed in the eastern Mediterranean until January to gather intelligence in order to “show how the respect of international law and especially freedom of navigation matters” to France.

“This deployment underlines how important France considers this part of the Mediterranean sea,” as well as the country’s “willingness to contribute to the stabilization of this strategic area,” De Vignaux told reporters at the Cypriot port of Larnaca.

The Auvergne was commissioned three years ago. It has advanced sonar equipment and specializes in anti-submarine warfare.

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.

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* The Republic of Cyprus (82% of whose population is Greek) was founded in 1960 as a result of one of the earlier and most important anti-colonial struggles against the British Empire, which followed Nasser’s revolution in Egypt and preceded the Algerian Revolution. Cypriot independence was never accepted by Great Britain, the US and Israel, as the Zionist movement wanted to found Israel in Cyprus, while Cyprus is a part of Greater Israel in all its maps. In order to overthrow Makarios and destroy Cyprus, the CIA and NATO’s Gladio Network  imposed a military dictatorship on Greece in 1967. In 1974, Henry Kissinger instructed the Greek junta to engineer a coup d’ etat in Cyprus, and then asked the Turkish Prime Minister to intervene there. The Cyprus coup and subsequent invasion is thought to be one of Kissinger’s four greatest  crimes.

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