Hollande in Cyprus after carrier visit

4th December 2015, Comments 0 comments

French President Francois Hollande paid a brief visit to Cyprus Friday after addressing forces on the aircraft carrier at the heart of France's campaign of air strikes against Islamic State jihadists.

He met his Cypriot counterpart, Nicos Anastasiades, at the island's main airport before flying back to Paris.

An AFP reporter on board the carrier Charles de Gaulle in the eastern Mediterranean said Hollande flew by helicopter to Larnaca airport where he met Anastasiades before leaving for Paris on board a Falcon jet.

A French presidential source said Hollande thanked Cyprus for its help over the French military action against IS in Syria.

Sigma, a private television channel, reported that the two spoke "primarily about terrorism and cooperation between the two nations, with Cyprus set to allow the French military access to its Andreas Papandreou air base" in the southwestern town of Paphos.

British warplanes are already flying operations against IS in both Syria and Iraq from the RAF base of Akrotiri on the south coast of Cyprus.

War-torn Syria, where IS has its main stronghold in Raqa, is located only some 110 kilometres (68 miles) from the island.

© 2015 AFP

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