France has sent warships to the eastern Mediterranean to lend support to Greece against Turkey’s quest for energy reserves in the region, according to the Middle East Monitor news website.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who was on a visit to the French capital of Paris to gather support, has welcomed the decision and described the warships as “guarantors of peace.”
“The only way to end differences in the eastern Mediterranean is through international justice,” he told reporters after talks with Emmanuel Macron. “Greece and France are pursuing a new framework of strategic defense.”
Tensions have increased significantly over the past year in the eastern Mediterranean due to Turkey’s dispute with southern Cyprus over the distribution of energy resources in the waters off the island.
Greece itself has reportedly long been prepared for a military confrontation, with Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos recently warning that the country was “examining all scenarios, even that of military engagement.”
This was shown with Greece’s deployment of military forces to 16 Aegean islands last week, in violation of international law, which stipulates that they remain demilitarized. When Turkey called on Greece to disarm them and uphold international law, Greece refused.