According to the news website OnlyCy, the Israeli government reportedly asked the Cypriot permission to use the “Andreas Papandreou” airbase in Paphos in exchange for ensuring the air defense of the Republic and changing the military balance in the region.
This request comes after the recent incidents of harassment of a Cyprus Airways flight and the continuous violations of Cypriot airspace south and east of Paphos.
In the “A. Papandreou” AB, the Cypriot government has built the necessary infrastructure for hosting and supporting fighter aircraft, while nearly a decade ago F-16 fighter jets of the HAF had stationed for a short time at the AB under the joint defence area doctrine between Greece and Cyprus.
This move also shows the determination of Israel to defend the energy resources of the area and its concern for the Turkish aggression. On the other hand such a move, if it were acceptable, would undoubtedly upgrade the crisis in the area because of the gas drilling.
However, in general, the Israeli proposal is a qualitative improvement in relations between the two countries and should be examined with caution.