Skip to Content

Cyprus divided. Stock photo from Pixabay

French and Italian war ships head for Cyprus

The Italian Navy is heading for Cyprus: the frigate Virginio Fasan in the waters of Nicosia is a sign of extreme interest in Mediterranean politics, given that it is the second time that an Italian war ship has stopped (within a few weeks) in a Cypriot port.

Published: February 10, 2020, 5:34 am

    Read more

    Nicosia

    And it happens at the most critical phase of the internal power relations in the Mare Nostrum between Turkey and the EU.

    The signal from the Italian and NATO forces is obvious. And it is no mystery that the Italian, French, Greek and Cypriot maneuvers in the sovereign waters of the island also have the meaning of a warning to Turkey, since the Italian Navy itself speaks, in the press release, of “activities, presence and surveillance of maritime spaces, in compliance with international law and to protect national interests”.

    It is a sparse but eloquent statement since, in theory, it is sovereign waters of an allied country, surrounded by Italy’s commercial and strategic partners. Even so, ships are constantly sent to monitor this particular maritime sector.

    The response stems from two needs. The first is to monitor the waters of the block in which Italian oil concern Eni operates, given that the gas from the Cypriot seabed is extremely important for Italian national interests.

    But control stems above all from a need to curb the moves of Turkey, which for some time, have been present in the waters of Cyprus. And the eastern Mediterranean it is likely to blow up at any moment, given that Recep Tayyip Erdogan does nothing to hide his will to expand his country’s maritime borders. This was confirmed also by the agreement reached between Ankara and Tripoli for the new limit of the respective exclusive economic zones.

    Europe, and especially the countries involved in Cypriot gas and the Levant basin, are watching these developments with great concern. Turkey has set its sights on the seabed of Cyprus and is above all concerned with preventing the East-Med pipeline – a project of fundamental importance for Israel, Cyprus, Greece and the European Union – to take shape.

    The desire of Ankara is to extend its network of influence throughout the enlarged Mediterranean starting from Syria, the eastern Mediterranean and northern Cyprus, and it is clear that the European powers involved in this part of the sea are worried, especially because gas interests are an integral part of any country’s national strategy, also for southern European countries.

    Clearly France and Italy do not have the same interests. And relations with Turkey are not the same. But the Mediterranean crisis has a significant impact on mutual relations, considering that France has a naval base in Cyprus, has a strong interest in the Cypriot fields, has strategic interests in Lebanon and Syria and in Libya it sides with the opponent of Turkey: Khalifa Haftar.

    Italy, on the other hand, is in a rather uncomfortable position. The solid relations with Cyprus are paired with the necessary relations with Erdogan’s Turkey, with whom they share a very difficult coexistence in Tripoli and in the western part of Libya and intense commercial ties.

    But the gas from the Nicosia block, where Eni has long ago started its explorations, is a key point on the Italian political agenda. And also the recent military orders of Egypt (which in fact undermine Paris) indicate the Italian will to emphasize its convergence with the anti-Erdogan blockade.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Judiciary in a hurry to move against Salvini

    It appears that the Italian judiciary is in a hurry to move against former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. The offices of the investigating magistrate of Catania have already received the official request of the prosecutor to set a preliminary hearing in the context of the proceeding against the Salvini "kidnapping" case.

    The grip of Soros on the ECHR revealed by French weekly

    ParisIn its latest issue, a French weekly revealed the extent of the influence of Georges Soros, the Hungarian billionaire at the head of the NGO network Open Society Foundations, on the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

    European Commissioner of the Interior defends asylum after ECHR ruling

    BrusselsThe European Commissioner of the Interior defended the right of migrants to ask for asylum, and even though this right “cannot be offered at each meter of the border” it should be, she argued.

    Orban: ‘It’s forbidden to say so in Europe, but migration is an organised invasion’

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Thursday warned of a rise in the number of organised groups of migrants attempting to enter the country as summer approaches as migration pressure increases on the country's southern border.

    More than 120 daily stabbing attacks in France

    ParisIn total, between 2015 and 2017, some 44 000 people were victims of a stabbing attack in France.

    The emergence of Europe’s ‘big four’

    BrusselsIt's Europe's "big four" - new axis between four major countries of the European Union,  trying to take the place of the Franco-German axis, which has been in crisis due to the continuous divergences between Paris and Berlin.

    Salvini faces up to 15 years in prison for stopping illegal immigration

    RomeDuring his year at the head of the Italian Ministry of the Interior, Matteo Salvini never stopped fighting illegal immigration. The boss of the League in Italy is accused of kidnapping because he blocked a boat of illegal migrants off the coast of Sicily when he was Minister of the Interior.

    AfD files criminal charges against Merkel for coercion

    BerlinIn the case of the Thuringian Prime Minister Thomas Kemmerich (FDP), who was forced to resign, the AfD has announced that it will report Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) for coercion.

    Dutch parties demand that FvD be excluded from coalition

    The HagueDutch party leaders have urged the VVD in the province of Brabant to rule out a coalition with the Forum voor Democratie after the province’s government collapsed. The VVD, the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, is a liberal political party in the Netherlands.

    Migrants mass at Hungary’s border to test Orban’s resolve

    A group of hundreds of migrants that recently set off for Hungary from Serbia has reached Hungary’s southern border at Tompa, Hungarian public television’s current affairs channel M1 reported on Thursday.

    Go to archive