Naval Tensions in Mediterranean in Danger of Spilling Over
French President Emmanuel Macron earlier this week promised to support Greece in its fight against alleged Turkish aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean, and on Thursday he delivered, as two fighter jets and a French frigate arrived in Crete and conducted naval maneuvers alongside Greek vessels. The emergency exercise, meant as a show of force, comes on the heels of a controversial Turkish gas exploration mission near Cyprus, an act that has enraged Greece and caused heightened tensions in the Mediterranean. The disputed waters around the local islands, said to be rich with hydrocarbon resources, have lately been cause for contention between the region’s countries. Both Egypt and Israel in recent days voiced support for Greece and condemned Turkey’s actions. On Wednesday, Macron called the dispute between the two NATO allies “worrying” and called on Ankara to halt any “unilateral” actions. In an attempt to muster further international support, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Thursday will fly to Israel and on Friday will meet with United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Vienna.