France will temporarily increase its military presence in the Eastern Mediterranean to support Greece in its ongoing conflict with Turkey, French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday.
“Turkey’s unilateral decisions on oil exploration are causing tensions,” Macron said in a tweet, adding that he has “decided to temporarily strengthen the French military presence in the Eastern Mediterranean in the coming days, in cooperation with European partners including Greece.”
He said “the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean is worrying,” and tensions have to end to facilitate a “peaceful dialogue” between the two NATO members. Macron followed up his French-language tweets with versions in Greek.
The president did not provide further details on the reinforcement, and the Elysée did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis thanked Macron in a tweet in French, calling the president a “true friend of Greece” and “a fervent defender of European values and international law.”
Macron’s announcement came after a Turkish vessel on Monday entered waters claimed by Greece, further fueling tensions between the two countries. Athens denounced the move as “illegal” and warned it was prepared to “defend its sovereign rights.”
On Wednesday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers for Friday to discuss the crisis in the region.
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