France on Monday toured the Eastern Mediterranean with its new frigate Auvergne, displaying its military muscle while underscoring 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 Greek Cypriot administration port of Larnaca.
The Auvergne was commissioned three years ago. It has advanced sonar equipment and specializes in anti-submarine warfare.
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