Greece, France hold joint naval exercise in East Med

Greece and France held a joint naval exercise on Thursday in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Hellenic National Defense General Staff announced.

Four Greek frigates and a French task force fleet comprising the French vessel Tonnerre and the frigate Lafayette participated in the exercise.

Two French Rafale jets also landed and used Souda base as part of the military cooperation between the two countries, the country’s AMNA news agency reported.

The training exercise came a day after Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis discussed the escalation of tension in the region with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“Emmanuel Macron is a true friend of Greece and a fervent defender of European values and international law,” Mitsotakis said on his Twitter account after the call with Macron.

Turkey dispatched on Monday its seismic survey vessel Oruc Reis, escorted by Turkish warships to the Eastern Mediterranean after Greece and Egypt last week signed a maritime border agreement for the region.

Greece, which has called on Turkey to withdraw vessels from the area, also deployed warships to monitor the vessel.

Greece and Turkey have been at odds over hydrocarbon rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.