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Mitsotakis calls Trump as East Med tensions simmer

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke over the phone with US President Donald Trump about the rising tension in the Eastern Mediterranean as Greece, Cyprus, Italy and France were conducting joint military drills.

Mitsotakis thanked Trump for his interest and for the communication and raised the issue of Turkey’s destabilizing actions, which are endangering peace and stability in the broader region and testing the cohesion of NATO, according to the PM’s office.

The Greek Prime Minister also said that Greece is ready to contribute meaningfully to de-escalation on the condition that Turkey ceases all provocative actions at once.

His conversation with Trump took place on Wednesday evening as Cyprus, Greece, France and Italy were conducting joint military exercises in the East Med as a show of strength against Turkey’s aggression.

The three-day drill codenamed “Evnomia” began off the southern coast of Cyprus involving naval and aerial assets by the four EU countries.

Cyprus Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides called on his EU counterparts to declare the Eastern Mediterranean as a region of maritime interest, warranting coordinated and constant presence in the area by EU member-states.

The Defence Ministry said Petrides took part in the EU Defence Ministers Council, held on Wednesday in Berlin.

Speaking at the meeting, Petrides said the situation on the ground requires that the Eastern Mediterranean is immediately declared as a region of EU maritime interest.