Amid tensions with Turkey, Greece in joint manoeuvres with France
The French military conducted training exercises with Greek forces off the southern island of Crete on Thursday, defence sources said, as tension persisted with Turkey over disputed waters in the eastern Mediterranean, Reuters reports.
Thursday’s exercise was the first manifestation of French President Emmanuel Macron’s commitment to temporarily reinforce his country’s presence in the eastern Mediterranean. France has called on Turkey to halt oil and gas exploration in disputed waters.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis discussed the situation in the region with Macron by telephone on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the French armed forces ministry said it was sending two Rafale fighter jets and the naval frigate ‘Lafayette’ to the eastern Mediterranean.
The frigate and the jets had arrived in Crete earlier on Thursday and carried out joint manoeuvres with Greek forces, the Greek defence sources said.
“Emmanuel Macron is a true friend of Greece and a fervent defender of European values and international law,” Mitsotakis tweeted, in French, after the call with Macron.