Israel Says It Backs Greece in Standoff With Turkey in Mediterranean
JNS.org – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday that only “dialogue and negotiation” can solve its dispute with Greece over energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
“The path to a solution in the eastern Mediterranean is via dialogue and negotiation. If we act with common sense and reason, we can find a win-win solution that meets everyone’s interests,” said Erdoğan, reported Reuters. “We are not chasing any unnecessary adventures or seeking tensions.”
Turkey has begun surveying for oil and gas in the eastern Mediterranean in an area claimed by Greece.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat tweeted on Wednesday that “Israel follows closely as tension arises in the eastern Mediterranean. Israel expresses its full support and solidarity with Greece in its maritime zones and its right to delimit its EEZ [exclusive economic zone].”
France, which has called for EU sanctions on Turkey for its activities in the Mediterranean, held training exercises with Greek forces near the island of Crete on Thursday.
The French armed forces ministry sent two Rafale fighter jets and the naval frigate Lafayette to the eastern Mediterranean, arriving in Crete on Thursday, according to Reuters.