In a post on Twitter, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis thanked French President Emmanuel Macron in French for his solidarity.
He stressed, “Emmanuel Macron is a true friend of Greece but also an ardent defender of European values and international law.”
Je remercie le Président Macron pour sa solidarité. @EmmanuelMacron est un vrai ami de la Grèce mais aussi un fervent défenseur des valeurs européennes et du droit international.
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) August 12, 2020
It should be noted that the Greek PM had a telephone conversation with Emmanuel Macron yesterday, during which the two leaders talked about the tensions caused by Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean region and about common ways of dealing with Turkish provocations.
Η κατάσταση στην Ανατολική Μεσόγειο είναι ανησυχητική. Οι μονομερείς αποφάσεις της Τουρκίας σε θέματα πετρελαικής έρευνας προκαλούν εντάσεις. Αυτές πρέπει να σταματήσουν ώστε να ευοδωθεί ένας ήρεμος διάλογος μεταξύ χωρών γειτονικών και συμμάχων στο πλαίσιο του ΝΑΤΟ.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) August 12, 2020
During the phone conversation, the French President expressed his concern over the tensions caused by Turkey’s unilateral decisions regarding oil exploration, which should be stopped. Then, he said that the two neighbouring countries and NATO allies would be able to initiate a dialogue on the issue.
The French president announced that the French military presence would be strengthened in the area, according to a statement issued by the Elysee: “The French President decided to temporarily strengthen the French military presence in the Eastern Mediterranean region in the coming days, in cooperation with the European partners, including Greece, in order to better assess the situation in the Mediterranean Sea and to show that international law must be respected,” the announcement states.
“We recall the importance of resolving the current differences through dialogue,” he said. “There is also a need for a deeper dialogue between Greece and Turkey and, therefore, welcomed Germany’s mediation initiative in this regard,” he added.
It is noteworthy that two French fighter jets took off this morning from Paphos, in Cyprus, heading right towards Greece and flying over the sea area, where the Turkish Oruc Reis has been conducting investigations.
Moreover, according to Reuters citing defence sources, the French military conducted training exercises with Greek forces off the southern island of Crete on Thursday. Thursday’s exercise was the first manifestation of French President Emmanuel Macron’s commitment to temporarily reinforce his country presence in the eastern Mediterranean. France has called on Turkey to halt oil and gas exploration in disputed waters.