A USNavy Boeing P-8A from NAS Sigonella is participating with Italian, French and Cypriot navies in three-day naval exercise PASSEX south of Cyprus
According to a written statement, the Passex exercise is held inside Cyprus’ exclusive economic zones south of Limassol.
Passex is jointly conducted by the naval forces of various countries to ensure a high level of coordination in times of war or humanitarian relief.
Navy vessels from the three countries will participate in the drill, in order to improve the operational capabilities of their crews, enhance communication and understanding and promote a spirit of cooperation, the ministry said.
Both Italy (Eni) and France (Total) are heavily involved in the island’s energy exploration which is opposed by Turkey. Ankara has dispatched two drillships within Cyprus waters.
Nicosia’s defence cooperation with fellow EU partners France and Italy has gone up several levels in the past few years.