Evangelos Florakis Naval Base
The Evangelos Florakis Naval Base (Greek: Ναυτική Βάση «Ευάγγελος Φλωράκης») is a Cyprus Navy base, situated on the island's southern coast adjacent to the Vasilikos industrial area and power plant, near Zygi, between Limassol and Larnaca.
Prior to 11 July 2011, it was the main location of the Command of the Navy Base and one of the five primary commands (also referred to as sub-commands) of the Navy. It was responsible for overseeing all naval shore installations, facilities and associated personnel. The Command's current status is unclear.
As a component of the EU's joint military development program (PESCO), Cyprus designed various upgrades in its defense infrastructure. In 2019 serving Cypriot Defense Minister Savvas Angelides signed a letter of intent with his French counterpart Florence Parly. Speaking at a news conference, he said the expansion of the Evangelos Florakis Naval Base was linked to a military cooperation deal with EU partner states such as France. It was reported that a new docking area was to be built for larger warships.
The base was known for decades as the Mari Naval Base. It was renamed after Lt. General Evangelos Florakis, who was killed in a helicopter crash in July 2002 while serving as the head of the Cypriot National Guard.
In February 2009 a Cypriot-flagged vessel carrying 98 shipping containers of military material including explosives, intended for Syria, was intercepted in the Red Sea; the containers were stored at the Evangelos Florakis base, exposed to sunlight. On 11 July 2011 they exploded, killing 13 people and causing more than €3bn of damage. The Commander of the Naval Base, Lambros Lambrou and the head of the Cyprus Navy, Naval Commander Andreas Ioannides, were both killed.
- ^ "Cyprus Plans Mari Naval Base Expansion To Host French Navy Ships". Naval News. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- ^ "Expansion of base for use of French navy a priority says minister". Cyprus Mail. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
- ^ "Cyprus working with France to expand naval base". Associated Press. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
- ^ "Cyprus seeks French military help in snub to 'distracted' UK". The Times. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- ^ "Cyprus, France reportedly agree on use of naval base". eKathimerini. 16 May 2019.
- ^ "Cyprus mourns military deaths". BBC News. BBC. 10 July 2002. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
- ^ a b Ioannis-Alexandros Ioannidis (9 July 2019). "Group of officials guilty of role in tragedy that shocked Cyprus".
- ^ "Beirut blast: The inferno and the mystery ship". BBC News. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
- ^ Hazou, Elias (26 September 2016). "Christofias hints at sabotage in Mari blast". Cyprus Mail. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
- ^ Staff (11 July 2016). "Memorials held for 8th anniversary of naval-base deaths". Cyprus Mail. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
- OpenStreetMap showing the base and the nearby Vasilikos power station
- Main Gate of Evangelos Florakis Naval Base on July 11th, 2011, shortly after the explosion (AP/boston.com)[permanent dead link]