Tensions between Greece and Turkey have erupted after a Greek research ship off the coast of Cyprus was targeted in the ocean.
TENsions between Turkey and Greece and Cyprus have risen, with Turkish warships following a Maltese ship permitted by Athens to conduct exploratory work for the East Med project.
On behalf of Greece, Cyprus, and Israel, the National Geo research ship is continuing its exploration of the pipeline’s potential maritime path. However, after entering Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, it was reportedly trailed by Turkish warships at a distance of half a mile (EEZ). “Greece must escape the caricature of a Balkan Turkish-central provincialism in its foreign policy,” Greek foreign minister Nikos Dendias said, adding that the country must “open its wings to the new reality.” While Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has complained of “unlawful” Turkish provocations at sea, he says the country must be cautious and follow international law as a deterrent.
The country’s aim to engage with more regional organizations, notably SICA, which deals with Central American countries, was also mentioned by the foreign minister.
Greece and Turkey have been at odds over a number of topics, including rival claims to hydrocarbon resources in the Aegean Sea and the demilitarization of islands.
Greece and France reached a deal earlier this week to buy three new frigates, allegedly valued up to €5 billion (£4.3 billion).
Greece has the option to purchase a fourth frigate from France under the terms of the agreement.
It has already placed an order for 24 Rafale fighter planes from the French company Assault, making it the first European Union member to do so.
The two countries’ strategic defense and security cooperation treaty is part of a larger drive to boost European military autonomy.
“It contributes to European security, to the consolidation of Europe’s strategic autonomy and sovereignty, and hence to world peace and security,” French President Emmanuel Macron said during a press conference alongside Greek Prime Minister Yanis Mitsotakis.
“This will bind us for decades,” the Greek Prime Minister stated.
Mr Mitsotakis had been asked just 24 hours before if Greece was getting closer to a defense pact with France.
“There will be announcements tomorrow morning,” he said on Greek state television.
“We’re on the verge of a significant development of our strategic partnership between Greece and France.”
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras earlier stated that his country does not want to engage in a “arms race.”
However, he stressed that Greece’s military forces had to be modernized as a result. “Brinkwire News Summary.”