French military plane Rafale
15 November 2018

Defence agreements between France, Albania and Cyprus

A bill authorises approval of defence cooperation agreements with Albania and Cyprus.

In 2017, France signed two defence cooperation agreements with Albania and Cyprus, approval of which must be authorised by Parliament.

As Albania’s entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) made the defence arrangement signed on 13 May 1996 obsolete, the new agreement is along the same lines as agreements concluded with Central and Eastern European countries (Croatia and Lithuania being the most recent). Its status as a member of NATO and possible membership negotiations with the European Union in 2019 should enable closer cooperation on subjects of major interest to both States, including combating radicalism, stabilising the Balkans and securing Mediterranean maritime areas. The agreement will come into force alongside the reopening of France’s Defence Mission in Albania in summer 2019.

The new agreement with Cyprus will replace the defence cooperation agreement signed in 2007. A new agreement was concluded in order to extend the fields of cooperation provided for in the 2007 agreement, to include training and exchange of knowledge and experiences regarding the armed forces’ role in the fields of energy security, maritime security, early warning, evacuation of nationals and crisis management. Development of such cooperation is also required in the context of a worrying increase in insecurity in the Levant and consequent increase in needs with regard to evacuation of nationals.

France is Cyprus’ second military partner, and the island constitutes a key support base for carrying out French military operations in the Eastern Mediterranean, guaranteeing maintenance of free access to this strategic area.


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