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Greece Begins Joint Maneuvers with France South of Crete

Rafale fighter aircraft

Amid tensions with Turkey, Greek defense forces began a joint military exercise with French forces in the eastern Mediterranean on Thursday.
Today’s exercise south of the Greek island of Crete was the first manifestation of French President Emmanuel Macron’s commitment to temporarily reinforce his country’s military presence in the eastern Mediterranean.
Greek media report that the French participation in the exercise includes a frigate and two Rafale fighter aircraft. The Greek forces include an unspecified number of frigates and jets.
Meanwhile, it was reported on Thursday that Turkey’s oil and gas exploration vessel the Oruc Reis, was moving once again, this time traveling in a western direction, still within the illegally-declared region of the Navtex that Turkey issued on Monday.
Th Oruc Reis is being accompanied by vessels belonging to the Turkish Navy.

“The situation in the eastern Mediterranean is worrying. Turkey’s unilateral decisions on oil exploration are causing tensions,” the French leader tweeted on Wednesday in both French and Greek.
Macron added that he decided “to temporarily strengthen the French military presence in the Eastern Mediterranean in the coming days, in cooperation with European partners including Greece.”

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