France sends the naval vessel the Lafayette with two Rafale type fighters to the eastern Mediterranean. Tensions between Greece and Turkey are rising there as a result of Turkish projects to search for oil and gas under the seabed.
The French Ministry of Defense reported that this is part of plans to expand the military presence in that area. Turkey claims large areas of the seabed as an exclusive part of Turkey’s continental shelf. Greece states that Turkey is entering waters that are either Greek or should be included in the Greek sphere of influence.
President Macron earlier this week called on Turkey to stop seeking oil or gas in controversial waters. On Friday, the foreign ministers of the European Union will meet to discuss, among other things, the tensions with Turkey.
Peace in danger?
Athens accused Ankara on Monday of “threatening peace” in the eastern Mediterranean. It believes that the presence of the Turkish research vessel Oruç Reis in this area ‘constitutes another serious escalation’ and demonstrates Turkey’s ‘destabilizing role’.