BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:20 P.M.) – The Greek Ministry of Defense announced that Greece, France, Italy and Cyprus will hold military exercises from Wednesday to Friday to the south of the island of Crete in the eastern Mediterranean, as tensions between Athens and Ankara continue to escalate.
The ministry said in a statement: “Cyprus, Greece, France and Italy have agreed to deploy a joint presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, within the framework of the Quartet Cooperation Initiative (SQAD)”.
The sources indicated that these exercises will take place between August 26 and 28 to the south of the Greek island of Crete and Cyprus.
The discovery of large gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean in recent years has raised tensions between Ankara and Athens, which are in conflict over some maritime areas.
Turkey has warned Greece about holding these military drills, as Ankara said on Tuesday that this move by Athens will lead to a “path of ruin”.
Greece has not backed down, however, pointing out that they are ready to defend their sovereignty in front of Turkey’s threats.