Sunday, January 17, 2021

Turkey Blasts French Decision To Deploy Rafale Jets In Greek Cypriot Admin Area

The presence of French fighter jets in the Greek Cypriot administration’s area is against the 1960 Treaties, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said Wednesday. The Greek Cypriot administration, Greece, France, and Italy launched a joint military exercise earlier in the day to the west of the island of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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The deployment will reportedly include two Rafale jets, as well as a naval frigate Lafayette. French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted in French: “I have decided to temporarily reinforce the French military presence in the eastern Mediterranean in the coming days in cooperation with European partners, including Greece.”

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“The landing of the French military aircraft to the Greek Cypriot administration on the pretext of an exercise carried out with the Greek Cypriot administration, Greece and Italy, and the temporary or permanent deployment of these aircraft on the island is against the 1960 Treaties,” Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

President-Macron

Aksoy said that with this attitude, France, which is not the guarantor of Cyprus Island, dangerously encourages the Greek Cypriot administration and Greece, which are responsible for the current tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, to escalate tensions further.

He reiterated that every attempt at trying to exclude Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean will result in frustration.

French Defense Minister Florence Parly and Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos announced that the Greek Cypriot administration, Greece, France, and Italy had launched a naval and aerial exercise in the area that will run from Aug. 26 to Aug. 28.

Turkey, and later Greece, have sent out conflicting alerts on energy exploration and military exercises in the Mediterranean.

Greece has disputed Turkey’s current energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, trying to box in Turkish maritime territory based on small islands near the Turkish coast.

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Turkey — the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean — has deployed drillships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, saying that both it and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have rights in the region. Dialogue for fair sharing of these resources would be a win-win for all sides, say Turkish officials.

Edited By EurAsian Times Desk

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