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France, Turkey Exchange Threats Over Mediterranean

Mediterranean tensions seemed to be increasing Wednesday as two announcements made by rivals France and Turkey appeared to add only more fuel to the growing fire. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan promised never to back down from his country’s territorial demands in the Black, Aegean and Mediterranean seas. “We will not compromise what is ours,” pledged Erdoğan. “We are determined to do whatever is necessary.” Also on Wednesday, France’s Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly announced that France would join Italy, Greece and Cyprus in a military exercise near the location of Turkey’s maritime hydrocarbon exploration, sending three fighter jets and a warship to participate. The gas survey, conducted by a Turkish vessel in the Eastern Mediterranean, is seen by Greece, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Israel and several EU countries as a violation of Greece’s territorial rights and a dangerous provocation by Turkey.