French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly stressed the need to respect the rule of law in the Eastern Mediterranean as the first joint military exercise involving Greece, Cyprus, France and Italy in the region began.
“The eastern Mediterranean is becoming a zone of tension. Respect for international law must be the rule and not the exception.
With our Cypriot, Greek and Italian partners we are beginning today a military exercise with air and sea assets,” Parly tweeted on Wednesday.
“Our message is simple: priority to dialogue, cooperation and diplomacy for the EastMed to be an area of stability and respect for international law. It must not be a playground for the ambitions of some; it is a common asset”.
Parly said that on the side of France, three Rafale fighter jets, a frigate and a helicopter will take part in this European exercise.
In another Twitter post, Cypriot Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides said that for the first time a joint aeronautical activity is taking place in the Eastern Mediterranean between Cyprus, Greece, France and Italy.
“A strong European footprint of peace and cooperation for the application of international law.”
The four-day exercise “Evnomia” south of Cyprus will last until Friday.
Turkis ship Oruc Reis has been conducting seismic surveys ship in a sea area that spans part of Greece’s continental shelf and Cyprus’ EEZ.